Monday, December 04, 2006

Mister P. is Awesome

Would anyone disagree that the key to a successful event is the volunteers? Anyone? Volunteers are awesome. This weekend, I volunteered for the inaugural City of Angels Half Marathon. Therefore, I am awesome.

If I was given a choice of assignments, I would have picked something on race day in in Griffith Park (the starting line) which is very close to my home. Instead, I helped with registration the day before in downtown L.A. As it turns out, that was perfect because I knew several people who were running in the event, so by volunteering a day early I was free to watch the race the next day.

My primary job was handing out bibs and timing chips. My shift was 7:30-1:30, and it was hard work. You don't realize how tough it is on your back to be on your feet for that long while constantly bending over a table. But it was a lot of fun just being part of the excitement of the race.

Most of the runners picking up their stuff were great. My only complaint was with the two people who arrived to pick up bibs for the 25 people on their team. I don't mind retrieving all the (non-sequential) bibs, but rather than just taking the bibs and sorting them off to the side, they spread them all out over our table to check them off their master list. But we remained helpful and no major harm done.

Not every volunteer is a runner. But I strongly believe that every runner - at some point - should be a volunteer.


Blogger Iron Pol said...

A while back, Iron Benny did a post on working as a course volunteer at an Ironman race. I plan on being at IM MOO to volunteer in 2007. After running IM Louisville, it will be good to return the assistance I know will be given me.

While their choice of spots was inconvenient, I can relate to the obssessive nature of ensuring all race numbers and chips were picked up and activated. I know how wacked out I got just picking up stuff for three people.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

I agree! I've volunteered at a half-mary locally and loved working the aid-station at the turn-around! It was a blast.

I also enjoyed volunteering at Ironman Canada last August even though it was hot and it was a LONG day. I'm hoping my race day at IMC next August is shorter than my volunteer day was!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Yes..volunteer is a hard WORK. I rather race than volunteer. I was volunteering for a kid's tri...lots of work and lots of respect to those that help out

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Smart Dutch's Girlfriend said...

I am reminded of the time I ran the very first Run Hit Wonder, here in L.A. The volunteers were slow to set up for some reason and they were undoing the caps on the jugs of water to pour into cups as we were running by. Just as this kid gets the cap off one of the gallon jugs, a tiny woman grabbed it from him and started guzzling from it. It was wrong, wrong, wrong. But funny! The thing was the size of her head. The poor kid was flumoxed and set it aside on the ground. I guess volunteers need to be prepared for any eventuality.

6:22 PM  

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