Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mud & Chocolate half marathon trail run

Chocolate medals!
Cupcakes anyone!?


 Today I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Mud and Chocolate half marathon in Redmond, WA! Not only was I able to volunteer but I got to do the best part of the whole race, I was able to hand out medals to the finishers! I got to hand out the chocolate medal with a chocolate bar to each participant. My friend Shannon handed out that the actual metal medal to the finishers.
I felt that I have become a taker instead of a giver when it comes to doing things that I love and in this case that means races. I have run close to 50 races and I have never volunteered until today. It was really something special to watch each participant cross the finish line and complete their own goal for their own reasons. One particular lady was overwhelmed with emotions and fell to her knees in tears, it turns out she had run the race for her mother. Every runner is completely different and has their own reasons for running and that is just something I absolutely love about the sport. Today I was able to see that first hand. I also found it so interesting how many people were excited finish and then the other people who were just glad to be able to finish and were so exhausted they actually ran past the medal area and had to come around after we yelled at them to get their attention. 
Mr. John! Such a fun guy!
It was a learning experience for me as a runner to see running at a completely different perspective. I am signed up to volunteer at the start of a couple races in the next couple months and I cannot wait for that experience either. Just to see the joy (or fear even) in the runners before the runners get in place to begin their journey for that day. I will be looking forward to another completely new experience in the running world. 
The goodies I was able to hand out, chocolate bar and a chocolate medal!
I started off in the mindset of volunteering as a learning experience for creating my own race series but I can tell just from the first race I have volunteered at that it is so much more than that. I am not learning about how to put on a race, I'm learning about how the runners see the race, how they feel about the race, what they like or dislike, what they need, and who they are as a person and as a runner. Which is so much more than I was expecting to learn from volunteering. 
First finisher! 1:40, so fast!
The aftermath of trail running.

The race directors for the race today, Nina and John, were so nice and very caring people. You could just tell from their faces that they loved what they were doing and they weren't there just for the race but for the people. They host three different mud and chocolate trail races throughout the year along with the Rain Run half marathon in January. Specifically placed on the rainiest day of the year, statistically speaking that is. It turns out last year is actually sunny. Whoops!
The medal Shannon handed out, so cute!
I look forward to working with Nina and John again sometime soon. I hope that this review will encourage you to volunteer for race near you!
As a complete surprise they gave Shannon and I hoodies!
Today was so much fun and I am so glad that I was able to share it with you. Thank you for reading.
Keep on Running!