Saturday, January 1, 2011

Its raining, its pouring, I'm volunteering...

Happy New Year! I kicked off 2011 by volunteering at the Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run. Since I am a week away from the Goofy Challenge and wouldn't be able to race, I decided this would be the perfect chance to volunteer. The bonus to volunteering at this race is that it started at noon as opposed to dark-thirty as with most other races. Sign me up!

I started the morning with some gingerbread pancakes. Please try them if you are into gingerbread. You all know I am into easy cooking. This is one part gingerbread cookie mix, one part pancake mix and then add enough water to make a batter. For 4 pancakes, it is 3/4 c. gingerbread mix, 3/4 pancake mix and then about 3/4 cup water. Easy. YUM.

As I am eating my pancakes, I am watching the weather cringing a bit. 100% chance of rain. Whatever shall I wear? I pull out the rain jacket I was given for volunteering at another race and decided to layer up with a couple of jackets. As I contemplate which shoes I wouldn't mind getting soaked, I remembered a pair of goretex type Columbia boots I bought 11 years ago for our one and only skiing trip. Perfect!

The meteorologists were right. It was definitely raining. I bundled up as best i could and headed towards my assigned water stop. The race was a 5k and a 10k with the 10k being a double loop so there was one water stop area on the course. We set up the water table filled all the cups and waited under umbrellas in the rain. As we all made small talk, I glanced down at my boots. They were cracked in about 6 places like they were made of chocolate bark. All I could do was laugh and hope for the best. Every step I took, one more piece of the outer shell fell off my shoes. Luckily around that time the first runners starting coming through the stop so there was no time to think about the water seeping in my shoes.

I have a whole new respect for the water stop people. You start out the race with the table full of cups; then the runners come. They trickle in at first with the speedy ones passing right by. Several minutes later, there is a mass of people grabbing water faster than you can fill the cups. It is quite the art of balancing making sure that you don't run out of water. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Before I knew it, the last walker had passed us and the cones were being picked up. We cleaned up the trash. Note to runners, please toss your cup in the can or as close as you can get it to that area. If you toss it 100 yards down the road, one of the volunteers has to go pick it up. Just sayin'.

As I was walking back to my car, the final few pieces of shoe started unraveling. At one point, the sole actually came off. At least they lasted through the day! :)

So much fun, rain and all! I was soaked to the bone but enjoyed every moment. If you ever have a chance to volunteer at a race, do it you won't regret it.


ajh said...

Those pancakes sound delicious! Good for you for volunteering.

Amanda said...

Those pancakes do sound good and easy!

Glad you had fun volunteering even with all the rain. That's something that I would like to do at least once this year.

I am with you on the cup thing. I now always carry my own fuel so that I don't have to grab anything from the water stops, but when I used to I always tried to hit the can or right around a can...And, always thank the volunteers :)!

Love the shoe pictures - that had to keep things interesting :)!

San said...

Happy new year.

I guess I'll volunteer this year too, just to get some more race atmosphere and keep motivated, as I don't think that I will race more than a 10k this year.

And hey, broken shoes? Perfect excuse to get a new pair. Not that we women really need excuses for this.

Best of luck for the Goofy Challenge. You'll rock it!!!

Lauren said...

Such a great story! and kudos for you for volunteering!

lindsay said...

dang! does columbia have a 'warranty' on that sort of thing? i know some random clothing companies do (provided you didn't damage the item yourself of course)

mommaof3ontherun said...

Hi. Thanks so much for following my journey! I came over and became a follower! Thanks for sharing your story.

Johann said...

I always enjoy volunteering and do so when possible. Well, as you say, at least the shoes lasted the time they were needed!