|My niece joined me to volunteer too this year.|
Volunteering for races is a great way to give back to the sport. It takes a lot of man hours to put together a great race and this is one of our biggest races in the area. The Fall program of Girls on the Run culminates with the participants running in this 5K race. There are several chapters of GOTR at various schools throughout Northwest Arkansas and they all come together for this 5K.
This year was the 10th anniversary of the race and the organizers had special finishers medals made to commemorate the anniversary. One of my volunteer tasks was to unwrap each of these medals. Let's just say...it took about 18 minutes to unwrap 100 medals and I spent several hours working with 1-3 others at times doing this. The next day when I completed my race I had extra special appreciation for the medal!
Spotted during packet pickup was one of my favorite blog lurkers! My friend Mark showed up to visit his wife, our packet pick up volunteer coordinator, while I was working. Mark and I have a running joke on what will it take for him to make it on the blog. So here he is in all his goofiness! I always enjoy training with Pauline and Mark and we have done lots of races together.
Race morning was cool, slightly damp, but otherwise perfect running weather. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece were working one of the water stops and it was awesome to have a personal cheering section along the course. I can't wait until my niece is old enough to participate in Girls on the Run. The course was new this year for the 10K and overall wasn't too bad. It took me about two miles to settle into my pace and get warmed up. I was disappointed to see that a volunteer crew had neglected to show up to work a water stop around mile 4.5. I really wanted water then but the cool weather allowed to keep on trucking.
I came into the finish and was excited to receive my medal. I put my long sleeve top back on and then joined a friend for a cool down run. We ran out part of the 5K course and saw the overall leaders flying back to the finish. After our cool down, we watched and cheered on the rest of the 5K'ers. We were watching for a Rush Running teammate's daughter and wife to finish. It was his daughter's first 5k race. It is such a thrill to see a child's face light up when they realize that you are cheering for them and Grace's face lit up when we cheered her on to the finish.
|Cheering on 5K'ers to the finish|
After the 5K was over, my friend and I walked over to check results and surprisingly I had placed 3rd in my age group for the 10K. She had also placed in her age group so we found the awards tent and claimed our medals. Overall a great race and a good time spent volunteering and encouraging others.