Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Volunteer

I finally got around to volunteering at a race! Only took me 29 1/2 months from the time of my first race. It was fairly uneventful, though interesting to be a close-up spectator at local event. The Last Chance Half Marathon is one of the larger races in Calgary. Perhaps I call it one of the "Calgary Majors", i.e. more than 200 runners and therefore one that I could never win.
The winner was Jeremy Deere, below, who got the $500 1st place prize some 3 minutes ahead of the next guy. I'd love to do a half in 1 hour 12 minutes, but that is faster than my 5k pace.
Lisa Harvey, below, came in at 1:23, which is the same as my 5k pace!
After this it was a question of making sure everyone did the u-turn onto the bridge and finish around 400 metres away.
 My toes were getting cold just standing there, so after the first few had gone past so I did a few jumping jacks, running on the spot and small jumps. My post was at the crest of a rise, so I must have stood out quite well bouncing around. I noticed that when I was mobile like this, runners seemed to pick up a little speed, and certainly smiled more than when I was static. Interesting learning of some human psychology. I kept it up even when my toes weren't cold, pointed the way, clapped and smiled at one and all. I could've said that old cliche "almost there!" as it would've been true, but have found it annoying while racing myself, not to mention the number of times I've read others being annoyed by it too.  
Martin Parnell ran past, but I didn't realize it until he was halfway up the bridge ramp. I would've liked to have said "hi". For those who don't know, he ran 250 marathons last year. Above is the final finisher.

So a nice somewhat Stampede-style lunch, then home. It goes without saying that I prefer running in a race, though they are largely made by the volunteers who indulge those of us who are doing what we love. This also marks the beginning of building a stronger base for marathon training in 2012. Now to find/ design a training plan.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for volunteering out there Peter! I distinctly remember seeing you at the turnaround on the ramp. Hope to see you at some races next year!