Monday, 18 August 2008

Endurrun 2008, a Volunteer's Perspective Stage 7 Marathon

Today was the biggie. 42.2 km. eeks. Not something I have really considered. Yet. My daughter helped me with the pictures today. Of the many tattoos she saw this week, the one shown here is her favourite. Its an indication of how seriously the runners take this race, and more importantly how significant their accomplishment is.

The second picture is Lloyd. I understand that he was watching the Tour de France on TV one year and a lightning bolt struck and he said to the effect that we needed an equivalent event for runners. Way to go Lloyd.

Ian is shown in the third picture. He was the very first runner to sign up for the race in it's first year. He has returned as a volunteer every year since. This year he participated in a relay team as a walker in 3 of the stages.

All the timing was done manually, no timing chips. It takes continuing vigilance to time all the laps and keep alert to each approaching/finishing runner. My hats off to these ladies.

Brad had intended to run this year. He has competed previously but was side lined by an injury. Yet he flew across the country to join us. He is the one that has provided the wonderful video coverage on the race website. I know I have enjoyed watching and re-watching the footage.

There are many more volunteers that are not pictured here. Sorry I didn't manage to catch all of them. They all gave their time freely and many of them do it year after year and plan to return.

So why do I do it? Mainly, its fun. Sure its a lot of work, and the hours are long and the weather doesn't always co-operate... I think, for me, it comes down to the mothering instinct, handing a cup of Gatorade to a labouring runner, calling their name and a few words of encouragement, giving them a hug, sweat and all. They tell us about themselves and their families and why they are running. We talk about running and they encourage me more than they can imagine. It all adds up to a special experience, and then they top it all when they come up to me out of the blue and say a heart felt thank-you, it makes it all worth while. All of that is why they quickly become my runners and why I'll be back next year.

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