…so when I left off, I was drifting to sleep….yup, 4:45 is early, no bones about it. Luckily, that day of sightseeing definitely helped me sleep like a rock, so I felt pretty good – especially because I knew my breakfast was an oh-so-healthy Sprinkles cupcake 😉
After a careful survey of Google maps before hitting the hay, I decided that the best mode of transportation to the Course Marshall check-in tent was to use my own two feet! From the hotel to the Washington Memorial: 1.7 miles! Not only would I save a few bucks, but I’d be able to get in a 3+ miler! Nice.
I left the hotel right around 5:20 and reached the hotel in less than 20 minutes, which was pretty darn convenient and awesome! We were told not to carry bags/wallets/purses so I was wearing my iFitness belt – inside, I kept my cell, ID, CC and hotel room key. That worked out pretty well! Anywho, back to check in – I gave my name to the captain and was pointed in the direction of the teeshirts and the uber-cool bibs 😉
Anywho, after picking up my stuff, I was starting to realize it was a lot cooler out than I was anticipating! When I had first arrived, I was still kind of toasty from the run, but as I waited in the dark morning…it was kinda nippy! So, I layered on the LS over my LS that I wore there, and topped it with my running pullover and the bib!
It was about 15-20 minutes before we were going to receive our assignments, so we mingled! I was volunteering with my company, which is based in Northern VA, so most of the colleagues that I was chatting with work/live in the DC area. That is, except for me…and a friendly lady named Wendy! We were the odd two that came from farther away – of course, me from Charlottesville, and Wendy from further-away Norfolk! In our conversation, we discovered another ‘it’s a small world’ moment – she is from the same small town in Iowa as hubs! Crazy, right?
Now (bad blogger!) I didn’t carry my camera so I have no photo fun here, but I can tell ya this – if you haven’t ever volunteered for an endurance event…DO IT! WOW! I had so much fun. Once all the volunteers were checked in at our station (we were covering Course Marshall positions, but there were also split-timers amongst our section) we were handed gridded maps of the course (quadrants for easy identification in case we needed to have medical called) and loaded up on school busses and were dropped along the course!
Wendy and I gave each other the silent signal on the bus that we would get off the bus as a pair, as each area had 2-3 volunteer spots. We were at a turnaround area where approximately Mile 5.5 and 9.5 would be coming up (then down). It was still early when we were dropped there, but we got to know the other volunteers in our area as well as our section’s police officer. We were SOO glad that we had police nearby because there were cars that wanted IN through the barricade near our section!
The race was set to start @ 0730, but right around that time, there were STILL people arriving from multiple directions for the race. We pointed them in the right direction 🙂
Once the race began, our job was pretty easy! We just had to make sure people were on course and they didn’t make any weird turns out into the street (there was one portion that would lead you right onto 395 if you really were not paying attention!) but after the elites passed (SOOO inspiring!) and the big sections of faster runners went by (HI KATY!) we reverted to cheerleaders for the most part! We chanted, called out runners names and danced around. It was SOOOO incredibly fun!
Before long, the stream of runners was thinning out…it was past 10 AM at this point, and the course would close at the 3-hour mark. We personalized cheers even more then, and even jogged alongside some of those struggling, yet positive runners! In fact, we (about 5 of us!) became the last runner’s posse and walked up the hill from our post and up to the finish – police escort and all! I think she was a little frazzled at our enthusiasm, but I know she must have been proud to finish!
I cannot describe how amazing it was to hear the hundreds of THANK YOU’s, the genuine smiles, high-5’s and thumbs up signs we received. It reminded me WHY I love the running community so much – WE HOLD EACH OTHER UP! It was awesome. I was so proud to be there!
Once we reached the end of the chute (yes, we all ‘crossed the finish line’) we bid each other farewell. I headed back up 14th to the hotel…but not without stopping for a delicious treat…
Yes! I love Caribou Coffee and was so happy that one was right across the street from my accommodations!
Happily sipping on my Dark Chocolate Campfire Mocha, I walked up to my room and relaxed for about 45 minutes before packing up, checking out, jumping on the Metro and back down the Charlottesville!
But not without a pit stop at the most magical grocery store on Earth…
But I’ll leave that for another post…
What did you do this past weekend?