This morning we were up bright and early to volunteer at the Moose is Loose half marathon in Edmonton. After running a few races I felt it was time to lend a hand at one and I dragged my mom and brother there with me! We were placed at water station #2 which was 5 km into the race. It was the 10K turn-around and because it was an out and back half marathon course we got to see the half marathoners at 5 km and at 16 km.
It was really cool to see the race unfold. First we had the walkers because they started an hour before the rest of the half marathoners. It seems like walkers are always having the best time. I mean walkers who want to walk, not runners who are hurting and forced to walk or injured and barely walking, I mean the people who don’t care that they are out there for three hours, they are walking on a mission (usually pretty fast) and just happy to be out there! My mom and I have walked races together and because we aren’t out of breath from running we get to chat up and thank the volunteers, crack jokes, and smile with a lot less effort! Then came the fastest half marathon runners. One was from St. Albert and I think I see him at every single race I go to. They were super speedy and I was so nervous to mess up their flow by handing water incorrectly to them or something!
The pack of half marathoners was unfolding and just as the last of them had passed us, the 10K race started. We were at the turn-around so many people we really happy to see us. We ran out of water as the last of the 10Kers were turning around so the first half marathoners on their way back didn’t get any water from us. I have been at races where they run out of water and as a runner it is so frustrating and annoying. I felt really bad having to tell people they had to run another few kilometres to get water! Most people were really okay with it though and took our Gatorade or just waited until the next station. We got another jug of water for the last pack of half marathoners on their return so not everyone was disappointed in us!
It went pretty smoothly besides running out of water for a short period of time. It was a pretty small race and it probably would have been more awesome to volunteer at a big race but it was fun nonetheless. We perfected our water-handing-out techniques and I only got splashed a couple of times. The race was along the Edmonton River Valley trail systems so it was beautiful, but shaded, and COLD. The temperature dropped a bit overnight and the race started at 7:15 am, so we were standing around in the cold for a bit and once you get a chill it is hard to get warm again! We were all wearing hoodies and layers but got pretty cold by the end!
There was a BBQ at the end of the race for all of the participants and the volunteers but we didn’t end up going. We were a little too cold and didn’t exactly feel like burgers at 10:30 in the morning, so we headed home. I hit up the gym for a recovery run and some strength training. I felt surprisingly good on the treadmill, perhaps thanks to sleeping in my compression socks last night! I ran at a really really really easy pace and then for the fourth mile I increased my speed every 0.05 miles going from ~9:00 min/mile to ~6:50 min/mile. I ran another recovery mile for a total of 5 miles and then hit up the Stairmaster and free weights.
Banana bread may not be super good for your health but it is good for the soul 😉 My mom makes the BEST banana bread. It is amazing. And yes, that slice is approximately the size of my face.
I had some weird shin pain in my left shin last night, a few hours after my 20-miler. I capped off this week at 51.78 miles (82.85 km) and I know that as I close in on 50-mile weeks, my body starts to hate me and rebels in some way. When I got injured at the end of March, it was at the end of my first 50-mile week. I don’t know how some people handle running 60, 70, or even a hundred or two hundred miles a week, but for ME, 50 is my maximum. Injury would most certainly follow anything more.
I will DEFINITELY be volunteering at more races. It was super fun and a great way to see the race from the other side. I admit I had some serious run envy when the half marathoners passed us at their 5 km mark, but when they were coming back at 16 km, I wasn’t so jealous. I was content just to be handing them water and not actually running myself 😉
Have YOU volunteered at a race before? Tell me about it 🙂