Saturday, April 13, 2013

Surrounded by Greatness

Pithy best describes my mileage this week.  Monday was TRX. Tuesday's run was cut short by feeling like someone drove a semi truck through my gut.  Maybe it was the unexpected heat?  Maybe it was the dirty water bottle? Wednesday was insane and I didn't plan well.  Thursday, Manhattan, the city not the drink, I'd of preferred the drink. Friday insane...  so let's just call this a recovery week and not beat myself up...

Today I volunteered at the Gansett Marathon one of 4 marathons held in this wonderful State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.  On Friday night I ventured out to the pasta dinner, more with the intent to drop off a gallon of water, pick up a flag, and to drive the course to be sure I knew where the two spots I was marshaling were.  Maybe I'd stay, I didn't really know anyone there.

On a whim I volunteered last year, there was a last minute appeal for volunteers and I wasn't doing anything that Saturday morning, so what the hell. Volunteering at races and walks is a nice way to pay back for the volunteers at the races I run.  Plus, the exposure to some of the details about what has to happen to put on a race or a walk and you get to see first hand how the community responds to the slight inconvenience in their neighborhood for a couple hours.  Really fascinating way to observe human behavior and attitudes.

The Race Director, introduced me to a club member, very classy.  I sat down at the table and chatted with him and two other volunteers and two other runners joined us.  

One of the runners was from Michigan!  I said I was too, and asked him where, Hudson Michigan, super close to where I grew up in Clinton!  That was very cool.  He is working on doing a marathon in all 50 states, he has 29 done and runs about 6 marathons a year.  His son is the track coach at the high school and is on a 9 year running streak.  We talked a bit about streaking and how do people manage.  He said his son travels internationally and once had an early morning flight so he got up even earlier to run two miles up and down the halls of the hotel he was staying at!  AHA!!  Unlocking the code of this mystery little by little.  Do you streak?  Thoughts, pro or con?

The other runner coaches middle school cross country in Connecticut and her husband tagged along to cheer her on. She was working to get an actual track installed in the school she teaches in, versus using one a town over.

The club member has a goal of running a marathon on each of the continents, at dinner he mentioned he has run in Australia, Antarctica  and South Korea.  Admirable!

This morning, it was nice to see the three runners I met last night, cheer them on by name and see their faces light up with someone saying their name.  I recognized some of the runners from the 2012 race. In particular Keith Straw

And several other runners I knew by name and two by sight!

Talking with the other volunteers was great too. My first station was a triple pass for the runners and a water station so plenty of people to talk with and lots of encouragement to just join the Thursday night run, it really is open to all paces. I will actually join a group run on the 18th with a fellow runner and blogger!   At the second I met the president of the running club in my town.  He is a tri-athlete, years of running has worn him out and he prefers the much easier on the body biking and swimming with a short run.  I'd have to work on my weak swimming skills and perhaps therapy for my fear of the water.  Anyhow, he mentioned there were some great members working hard to breathe life back into the club, Kudos to Michael and Muddy!

Beth, trail running tomorrow, and until the Ice Age 50 in La Grange WI on 5/11...  hope I don't get lost in THOSE woods!


  1. Sounds like you were talking with Peter Barbera? One of the nicest people I've ever met, and an amazing runner, too. Glad you had a good time - this was my first time volunteering, and I loved it!

    1. Exactly! I'm never sure about using names... Good luck tomorrow!! You will rock it like Diane rocked Gansett, she was amazing!