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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Volunteering

So I volunteered for the first time at a race. I chose a long one in the 6 Hour-60th Birthday Run in Sunken Meadow State Park. I afraid it would be awful and boring just hanging around for 6+ hours to help out, but I actually had a decent time of it. There were plenty of volunteers so my responsibilities were very light. About all I did was direct the runners on the trail during the first two loops, and even that was well marked by an arrow on the ground. I mostly read my book (The Road, by Cormac McCarthy) and would encourage the runners when they passed my way. The only other thing I did was to help move some picnic tables and to load some equipment into a truck. The toughest part of the day was trying to stay warm early in the race. I was starting to get very cold just sitting around.

After the runners passed me a couple of times, I headed back to the race start/finish area and ran into some friends from my office. They were there to check out the scene and we chatted for a while and watched the runners go by. After chatting for a while, I saw my friends Larry and Willie come by and I quickly changed into my running gear to do a few loops with them. This would be my first run in two weeks and my first test to see if my leg was healed. The first loop I did with them was at a nice and easy pace. However on the second loop, Willie started to run on a flat section of the course as if he had an angry mob with torches chasing him. Larry and I asked him what he thought he was doing when he finally slowed down. It was definitely too fast of a pace for my first comeback run. Fortunately after that little burst of speed, we settled down to a more civilized pace. After running 4 loops we took a bathroom break and I had to decide if I wanted to go any further. I felt some twinges in my leg, but I went out for one more loop. I wanted to run at least 10 miles today. My leg was a little sore afterwards, but nothing really too bad. I am not sure if I’ll run tomorrow. Other than my leg, I felt pretty decent and felt like running 6 hours. It was frustrating to have to stop.


While I was cooling down I hung around the people timing the race. We were commenting on the leaders and I would call out the times to my fellow Hammer Nutrition athlete Byron Lane. Byron was running several minutes behind the leader and I would let him know how much time he had to make up. After a while of hanging around the timing mats, I grabbed my camera to take pictures of the people I knew in the race. I got some good shots of Larry and Willie. Here are all of the pictures.

During the time I was running, I couldn’t help think about “The Road”. For some reason I felt fortunate to be running along a road that was green on all sides of me as opposed to a barren, ashy, burnt up landscape as described in the book. I couldn’t imagine living in a world as described in “The Road” and counted myself as fortunate for not being in such a situation. What would have been the point in living in such a situation? Hopefully we won’t have a nuclear war anytime soon. If you ever read the book or have read it already, you wouldn’t have to guess what I would have done while I had two bullets left in my gun. It would have been the most merciful thing to do.

Anyway, the day was as pleasant as it was long. Everyone was appreciated for the help I provided and I got my Service Requirement Form for the Vermont 100 Miler filled out. At least that is out of the way. Now I just have to hope my leg gets healthy enough to run in it.

1 Comments:

Blogger Brooklyn said...

Sorry to hear about the leg. Don't overdo it;heal up right.

It's great to volunteer, especially people who are course marshalls. You have no idea how valuable youare when you do that. Had a course marshal been there at the (unmarked) turn yesterday, I might not have gone off-course!

8:00 AM  

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