This past weekend, I once again had the opportunity to be a part of the race committee of Surfer’s Path Marathon & Capitola Half Marathon & Relay. It was its second year, and I was on the race committee last year, however this year was different — I couldn’t run so I took on a slightly different role. Mainly, I was the registration/fix you entry/lost your bib/etc go-to woman. I also orchestrated the registration/bib pick up volunteers alongside my good friend, and fellow SFM Ambassador Alisyn.
Being on the committee side of a race is a completely different view of the world, and while I really wished I had been able to run this morning (I actually contemplated it for about five seconds before realizing running 13.1 miles after having run no more than 2 miles at a time in over 3 weeks, would be a HORRIBLE idea. (<–I should get extra points for that, that are stored as minutes taken off my half PR the next time I race. Just sayin’.)).
Having finished the race weekend, a second year on the committee, but this year a lot more involved hands on race weekend of the events and coordination, I have realized just how much goes in to making a race — especially a long distance race — happen. There are so many logistics, so many volunteers needed, so much sponsorship and of course finding ways to show the runners you care about them and are proud of them without it being noticed how much work is actually going into it. But let me tell you, it takes a lot of people and a lot of time and effort. And I was amazed by how many people were out there and excited to make this a great experience for runners of all abilities.
So next time you run a race, thank at least one volunteer. Without that person the race might not have happened or you might not have gotten ___fill in the blank___.
At the end of the day though, well weekend, I have to say that being on the volunteer/committee side of the race is just as rewarding and tiring as running the race itself. And although I love the racing side (and hope to be back soon), I enjoyed hanging out all weekend with Alisyn and Paulette (another SFM Ambassador), and Alisyn’s beau Matt, watching my team (including Meg) dominate the relay, seeing Laurel crush the half marathon, spectating Skinny Runner win the full marathon for the women, her friend R get a huge PR in the half marathon, and seeing all the smiling faces of all the runners finishing their first race or their fiftieth race.
I helped bring those smiles and accomplishments to life, and for that I am forever thankful. (Full disclosure: I still hope to be on the runners side again next year.)