Volunteering

After my great weekend in Amish Country for the half marathon, I unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it) have to calm myself. I have a solid 2 weeks of NO RUNNING scheduled and another 2 weeks of NO LIFTING on top of that! The running break started to get to me about 4 days in and now that I’m halfway through, it hasn’t gotten any easier. Because of this, I won’t be running a race in December, so I had to change some plans last minute – I volunteered early this month and I’ll still be getting my active race participation in when I walk the Jingle Bell Run/Walk!

I registered to run the Christmas Story 5K/10K with my dad months ago and this sudden mandatory break landed right on the weekend of the race. Despite it being disappointing for my wallet (no refunds or registration transfers, $$$) and my legs (seeing other people warming up and getting excited was tough AND the morning was absolutely perfect for a race), I decided to participate in the event by volunteering. I got up ridiculously early and checked in at the Renaissance downtown with no idea what to expect, but I was excited to be the person sending the runners off with a “good luck” or “have a good race”.

Now, I could spend a few hundred words talking about the frustrations I faced volunteering at a race this big with quite a few glitches behind the scenes, but this isn’t the place for it and I’m sure it would make a boring read. I’ll send my feedback to the race organizers and let it go. What matters, though, is that I gave my time and it felt amazing! If I can find the time to volunteer at a few races a year, I’ll make sure to do so because it felt great to be involved even if I wasn’t running and, let’s be honest, to feel important. I was important to the race organizers, the other volunteers, and, most of all, to the runners. I had a chance to ease worry, to make people smile, to keep people informed, and to check out all of the funny costumes people opted to wear for this particular race. It was a great (though exhausting) morning, and I really think everyone should give volunteering a try – it’ll make you feel better than you think!

-K

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