Last weekend I knew my legs would not be up for a long run, only a week outside of MCM, so I took a chance and tried something I have been meaning to do for a while – I volunteered at a race. I keep meaning to give back and volunteer myself since so many great volunteers help to make the races I complete run smoothly. However, my long runs always seemed to get in the way so this past weekend was the perfect excuse, or lack there of.
The Healthy Kids 5K was was in its inaugural year and after getting into a fight with my GPS while trying to find the Mount Pleasant park (not the side of town I live on) I arrived just a few minutes later than I planned. After pulling bunches of bananas apart for a few minutes there really wasn’t much else to do until registration was over, so I hung out for another hour and giggled at all the cute kids playing. Then I took my position on the course. I was in charge of pointing people onto this path as they ran out of a field. It involved lots of yelling and pointing, which I am really good at since I was born without an inside voice. I had to wait around for about 30 minutes for the kids to reach me, but luckily I was right next to a nice lady from the local Fleet Feet who had set up a water station so I had someone to talk to. She was awesome. She wore Mizunos, ran marathons I only dream of, was super friendly, and had her adorable kids with her helping. I am glad I had someone to talk to so that the waiting went faster. It was a very small race, the entire group is above, but I had the best time volunteering because most of the runners were kids. I had so much fun cheering them on, yelling, screaming, high fiving, and dancing like an idiot. While I am sure volunteering at an adult race would be fun too, this was so much better. Most of the kids came from one local school, in their matching neon shirts, and were between K-4th grade. It was amazing to see how young some of the kids were and how determined they were to run their race. Many were with buddies (adults) who helped them to run/walk the race and encouraged them the whole time. How do I get that job?
I of course had to help a bit. One sweet little girl, who I later learned was in kindergarten stopped and sat down with about 0.2 miles to go. She was the very last one and so tiny, I was so proud she had made it almost 3 miles at a very young age, but she just was not budging. Her adult buddy could not get her to move, she “quit!” So being the slight hyperactive, elementary school teacher I am – I threw myself right in the middle and ran with her yelling, cheering, holding her hand, and dancing like an idiot to the finish. So fun!
Have you ever seen a kids’ race before?
Best thing EVER right?