Well, I’ve never written a spectating/volunteering recap, but I think the NYC Half deserves one.
I arrived at NYRR bright and early at 5:50 a.m. on Sunday morning, and my group, the East side “course marshals”, headed to Central Park just as the elites began to arrive in their SUVs and vans (I was thisclose to Alberto Salazar, Kara and Adam Goucher, OMGZ).
I was stationed right at the Engineer’s Gate in Central Park (90th street and Fifth Ave.), and even though it was friggin’ freezing (35 degrees!), excitement was in the air and runners were already filling the park. Soon enough, the elites began to arrive – they were the only ones allowed to enter the park where we were (more about that in a minute…)
More Goucher action, heading to the start
By the time the race started, I could barely feel my hands, but managed a few photos before I settled on clapping and jumping incessantly to keep warm for the next 2 hours.
The men literally flew by
As did the ladies
I’ve got to say, being a course marshal mostly consisted of cheering for people, which I loved!
We were given jobs before the race started to make sure no one entered the park where we were except the elites – no problem, yes? Well, I cannot tell you the number of runners that blatantly ignored and defied volunteers, and continued with their warm-ups and runs in areas they weren’t supposed to be.
Heads up guys – I know races get everyone pumped and nervous, but it doesn’t take much to follow the rules and treat people that are out in the cold at 6:00 a.m. for your benefit with a little respect. I love runners, and I love being a runner, but it really sucks when a few
rude a-holes bad eggs give us a bad name.
I can’t say I didn’t wish (a lot) that I was the one being cheered for, rather than the one doing the cheering, during the race. Seeing everyone out there having fun and pushing hard was definitely bittersweet, but it was also even more inspiration I need to get this Achilles healthy so I can be back out there and racing soon!
Huge congrats to everyone who ran!!
Question: Have you ever volunteered at a race before? Thoughts on race etiquette/rules?