Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Awesome To Volunteer At Des Moines Marathon

Well, if you can’t race, I figured out the next best thing.
Standing at the finish of the Des Moines Marathon Sunday awarding finishers their medals was definitely the next best experience.

What a joy to see the exhilaration and thrill of those finishing a half marathon or marathon for the first time. Perhaps even more rewarding was seeing friends and loved ones throw their arms around finishers for support. You never know the motivation as to why someone takes up an endurance race – a charity, a memorial or fundraiser for a family member or just the “I’m going to do this” excuse. Most people think you’re “crazy”. No matter the cause or the case, it was a privilege to witness the joy of these finishers and award them their medals.

The leaders cross the tape with their smokin’ hot times that most of us can only dream to achieve brought more excitement. Especially after the top marathon finishers had to wait nearly a minute for a train to pass just 400 yards in front of the finish! And there were those so over exhausted as they crossed the finish, you helped them to the medical tent for a little hydration.

However, it was probably best of all to greet friends as they finished. My friend Leah and I had been training for this event until I was injured. She also become injured, but forged onward. When I greeted her at the finish line, she was obviously looking for a friendly face. She gave me a great big hug and I told her, “You did it” – she had qualified for the Boston Marathon. Now, that’s a great moment to share!

Great weather, great moments and a great event! If I wasn’t so competitive, I would volunteer again. However, I hope I’ll be competing again next year.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Awesome experience! You'll be back!