Friday, April 18, 2008

This Weekend's Race

Race? What race? I've made no mention of another race this weekend.

Yeah, I'm pulling your chain just a little. I'm not running a race this weekend. But I'm participating in one!

A little background: I have to stay in Kalispell to work a little bit this weekend, plus I'm workign in Missoula next Wed-Fri, so I might as well save the gas money and stay here a few extra days. Anyhow, my gym is hosting a 5k run/walk this weekend, and several folks have asked me recently if I'm going to do it. No, I would reply, I just ran a race a few weekends ago, so I don't really need another one right now, and also I've already spent my monthly allowance (plus some!) for sports-related activities (including getting new tires and a tune-up for my bike and registering for two different races). So, no, I won't be doing the Summit 5k.

But yesterday as I was riding said bike to the gym after work, I had a brilliant idea. I could VOLUNTEER for the race! That way I could still be involved, and hopefully have a chance to pay-back some of the awesome volunteers that have donated their efforts to races that I've run. I got to the gym and signed up, and talked briefly with the race director. She was glad to have me. I told her that I wanted to be on the Route Crew-- i.e. one of the people who stands at a crucial turn along the race course and directs the runners which way to go. I've seen some volunteers in those positions just stand there and flatly say "Good job... Turn here." But others have cheered wildly or made encouraging comments to the runners, in addition to telling them to turn.

So my intention for this weekend's race is to be the most encouraging, supportive, enthusiastic race course volunteer I can be. The route is a tough, hilly one, and the weather's supposed to be cruddy. So I'll try to pour out a little sunshine for the runners. I'm psyched!

Any suggestions for encouraging phrases I can use? Any comments that volunteers or other racers have shouted to you in the past that have helped you find another gear, or simply to keep going and not give up? If so, post a comment, and I'll pass along the love.

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