Cherry Blossom 10(ish) Miler: A Volunteer Perspective 

Tulips and Old Glory

Copyright me

I had originally thought about running the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler.  However, I checked the time requirements (something I do for every race) and I knew I wouldn’t meet the 2 hour 20 minute cut off time.  So, I decided to volunteer instead.  Plus, I got the added bonus of cheering Lauren (one of the awesome instructors from Biker Barre and CUCB 2015 Social Runner).

Sunday morning started off cold, so cold in fact, that I had to break out my EMS Techwick shirt. I knew it was going to get hot, but I also knew that if I didn’t dress properly I was going to freeze my butt off.    That’s the beauty of being raised by a Dad; he teaches you to be practical over beautiful.  Of course, as the sun started to rise the temperature quickly climbed, but it was very easy to shed layeIMG_5884rs.

The water stop was actually kind of nice to work because once we got set up we got to watch the start of the 10(ish) Mile Race.  I say (ish) because, unfortunately, there had been a pedestrian/motorcycle collision which forced a course alteration.

It was amazing to watch the elite runners, both the male and female, go streaking by.  That is a pace I will never reach.  Heck, I have entire months where I can’t even run outside because of the air quality.  It is amazing nevertheless. The crush of other runners came along shortly after the elite men went streaking by.

Now, when I say crush of runners, that is exactly what it was.  The entire street was packed with runners as far as the eye could see.  And they just kept coming and coming and coming!  Holy biscuits that’s a lot of people.  I honestly don’t ever see that many people regardless of when I run because, well, I’m so far in the back.

Once the 10(ish) mile folks cleared a certain point they had the 5k folks go. Time to go to work!  I got put on line duty to make sure that every one made it all the way down to the turn around point.  I honestly think I had the best job ever.  Not only did I get to cheer folks on, but I go to encourage them on too.  From my perspective putting names on bibs was the best idea ever.  I’d find someone who was struggling and I’d say something like, “Come on Jessica, you’re half way there you can DO IT!” They’d smile and pick up their pace a little bit.

My favorite runners, though, were the ones that you could tell this was their very first race.  They were struggling.  They were pushing.  They were the ones that I identified with.  I rooted every single one of them on.  “You are lapping everyone on the couch!” “You go! Half way there, it gets easier from here!”  Yep, those are MY people.  The ones who may not be fast but damn do they have persistenceIMG_5876.

I’m with you Woody, I give this race a thumbs up.  I would most certainly volunteer again for this race.

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