One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 was to volunteer at a race. I love spectating almost as I love racing, so it was hardly a tough one to check off. Especially when you are greeted by a day like this:
The Ocean City Half Marathon & 5k was set for this gorgeous morning and it was all we could do to contain our excitement that we would be able to share this day with fellow runners, cheering them on. Yup, I actually am as dorky as that sentence would lead you to believe.
Lil Sis and I spent the majority of our time directing traffic and cheering on runners as they tackled the Longport Bridge. Once we finished being super proud of the 500+ participants as they cleared that hurdle, we made our way to the finish line to check in on some of our favorite race organizers and runners. Here’s what they had to say about the day:
What is your least favorite part of race directing? Most enjoyable?
Lisa Rumer – I try, but I find it hard to really hard to enjoy the day itself, it is so busy. But my favorite part is hearing the runner’s reactions to the race. There was one woman that crossed the finish line and she said, “that was such a great experience, everyone was so positive!”. At the end of the day, that is what is really important to me.
What did you enjoy most about volunteering this year?
Lil Sis – Bringing a smile to the runner’s faces before and after they crossed the bridge (ed note: she could have said megaphone, but at this point that is a given)
What was your race plan today?
Ryck Signor – Mainly I am training for the Schalick Alumini 5k race in a few weeks. Yep, all these weeks of training and this half-marathon just to get ready for that. (ed note: It was so great to see Ryck and his mini-me! What a sweet family he, his wife and baby make! Congrats on a great run today, Ryck! Can’t wait to see you kick those whippersnappers asses in two weeks, lol)
What was your favorite cheer station?
Heather Connolly – Umm, around mile 9 there were groups of girls that were spread out but all cheering the same chant “If your legs give out, run with your heart!”. I loved it, they were channeling inner Lisa Rumer… she always says crap like that! *laughs* Like *singsong voice* “you don’t need your legs, you can run with your arms!” *laughs*
What was your least favorite and most favorite part of the course?
Matt Purdue – The most challenging to me is stretch from 23rd to 36th (Carrie pipes in “Wait, that’s not part of the course!” lol). *laughs* There is just something about it, you are at the 9 mile mark and your legs are starting to go. My favorite part is coming down off the bridge into the Gardens. It’s fun to see that view and you still feel pretty good.
What’s the best thing you said as you were cheering people on today?
Carrie Merritt– Pleeease watch the surrey cart
Merritt Connolly – I see pizza in your future
Kat is training for the AC marathon (stay tuned for a spectating report for that!) and so we asked her how she liked running the half with the full around the corner?
Was it a good idea to run the half before the full? No. No, it was not. Because now I realize that in just a couple of weeks I have to do double what I just did today. So, it was a terrible idea. *laughs* Whoever calls that s*&% a shake-out run or a shake down run or whatever (ed note: tune-up run, I tell her) *laughs* Whatever it was, it was terrible! *laughs* (ed note: don’t be fooled, Kat killed it out there today and she is going to do great in AC!!)
Is this the first time you did the OC Half and if so, how did you like it?
Jeff Battersby – Yes it was and it was great. Weather was awesome, awesome run, had a blast. This was my second half.
Oh, great! Are you doing a full in a couple weeks or was this a stand alone race?
Jeff Battersby – Absolutely not. Actually, I will NEVER do a full. I want that on record. *laughs* (ed note: I can’t wait til he does one!)
Overheard in post-race chatter
Jeff – So there were these girls saying “If your legs give out, run with your heart!” and this guy behind me says “but what do you do if your f*ing heart goes out?” *laughter*
Kat – And there were these girls saying “go, you are almost halfway!” and I’m like “no, no, we are wayyy more than halfway” *laughs*
The Sneaker Shop is a major sponsor (so you know the quality of the race is high!), there are bands playing along the way, each water stop doubles as a cheer station since local community groups man them, and the finish line features not only the usual fare of oranges, bananas and bagels but also local OC specialties like Manco and Manco pizza and Who’s On First scones! Definitely put this race on your list for 2013!
Congratulations to all the finishers and to the race organizers for a job very well done!
Do you like volunteering at races? What was the last one you helped at?
What is your favorite volunteer story (either something you did or someone who helped you)?