Over the last 5 years, I have participated in a LOT of races. And I’ve got a LOT planned for 2018. During that time, we (or more correctly my guides since I’ve been focused on running) have done our part to thank the volunteers that are out there.
But those are just one level of volunteers that help to make sure that the race you’re participating in goes smoothly. There’s usually a small army (or a large one for big events) behind the scenes doing every thing imaginable so you have a great race.
During St. Patrick’s Day, I joined that army putting together packets for the Shamrock Shuffle. Now before I even touched them, several other groups had already taken the time to do envelopes, tags onto bibs (timing and name) and labels on the envelopes. My part was to scan the bib tags and double check everything.
After scanning 1200-1500 of them, I’ve got a much better appreciation for just how much work goes into a smooth event. The moral of this story – make sure you thank the volunteers out there as you’re racing. A LOT of people have put in time to make sure you’ll have a great race day!
Towards the end of 2014, I decided that I wanted to run the Shamrock Shuffle this year. So while it was still cold, I went to the gym and started pushing towards 5 miles on the treadmill. And once it got nice outside, Terri and I went running on different paths. By the week before the Shamrock Shuffle, we were at 71 minutes for 5 miles, which was within the time limit.
Keri Serota, who is the coordinator for athletes with disabilities (AWD) helped us to get everything in line for the race, and the start. Terri and I first met her when we picked up all of our packets the Friday before the race.
On race day, we arrived at the tent about 20 minutes before the start time, and checked in. We got to meet Israel (another AWD) and his guide, as well as Lisa who works with Keri. Keri walked the 5 of us out to the start line about 10 minutes prior, and we were stationed behind the wheelchair athletes. We started about 2 minutes before the rest of the field, but the elite runners quickly caught up to us in the dark tunnel.
While it was a challenging race, it was a great experience. I lost count of the number of people that were encouraging us as we ran. I wrote a longer post about the weekend for The Imperfect Journey. You can read it here.