Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh that guy who ran to Marathon? He delivered the message and died.

I think I've covered this, but why anyone would want to run a marathon, or a half marathon, is utterly beyond me.  As my dad likes to say, "The first guy that ran a marathon - died."  I don't know the details of that story, but I believe it - and being that my dad is my life coach and fitness advisor (just kidding on the latter), I've steered clear of running long distances.  Once, I strayed and did run a halfy, and you know what?  My knees swelled up and I wanted to die.  Serves me right.

But my aversion to running like half the entire square mileage of the District of Columbia, does not mean I can't support others who choose to do so.  Libertarians rock in that way...just saying.  So at 6:30 am last Saturday I found myself on H Street NE, prepping and manning the Mile 11 water station for DC's Rock 'N Roll Marathon and Half Marathon.  I was volunteering with my Godfather's organization, Not Alone, and we had a seriously rocking time.

Layer One of Water Cups - It's still dark outside!

Beautiful Sunrise.  The picture doesn't do it justice, the sun was bright red.

The Cool Crew - Godfather Sonny, Colin, Amy, Alexis and her Hubby Rob

In the end there were at least 30 tables with 3 layers of cups each!

Can you see the resemblance between Colin and the blow up guitarist below?  
I can.

The very first runner to hit Mile 11.  In 53 MINUTES!

My Clean-Up Crew.
Some might argue Colin was the leader...but Alexis and I know the truth!

Cups as far as the eye can see.

Then the street cleaners came...
And someone (I swear it wasn't me, Uncle Sonny) asked:
Why did we just scrape flattened cups off the ground if the street cleaners were coming?

I don't know.

It was so exciting to encourage these runners as they went past.  And handing out water is not as easy as it looks.  Leave it to me to make standing still really difficult.  But the first 50 runners or so that went through are going at a serious pace - and sometimes, the water handoff misses and the water goes everywhere.  Once the herds of average runners come through, they all slow down and stop to drink, which is so much easier...

So: Third place guy - you know who you are - I'm sorry I dropped the water, I hope you got some down the line.  

Once my water table ran out, I grabbed a shovel.  Our side of the street, (Colin, Alexis and I) decided it would be best to adopt the "Clean-As-You-Go" method, so while the rest of the volunteers were cheering and handing out beverages we got to work a-rakin' and a-shovelin'.  I thought it was weirdly fun - in a seven dwarf, whistle while you work, kind of way.  I had great company and as a result, once the last runner went through, we were pretty much donzo!  Teamwork! WOO!

I think Uncle Sonny even got a letter from race organizers saying something about how totes awesome the entire station was.  And, well, we were, duh.  I really hope we do it again next year because in the great words of Voltaire, or Evelyn Beatrice Hall paraphrasing Voltaire, "I may not agree with how far you run, but I will defend with my shovel your right to run it."  Or something like that. 

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