Sunday, May 30, 2010

To Give or To Receive

After working the finish line handing out medals at today's race, I am not sure which is more rewarding, to receive a medal or to give onel!

I arrived at Murdock Park around 6:40am and walked around to see if I could see any of my friends to wish them well before the start. Then headed to the finish line to start work. Once the work started at 7:00am I didn't finish until 1:00pm. We spent the first hour hanging all the medals which there were thousands off. They were all color coded to match either the marathon, half-marathon, relay, 10km or 5km.

Around 8:00am, an hour after the full and half started, the organizer asked me to hold the ribbon for the first half-marathon to brake through as he crossed the finish line. Well, that just made my day right there! It didn't matter what happened after that, I was on top of the world. Once he crossed, then I loaded my arm with half-marathon medals to present.

I saw a few of my COC friends complete the half marathon, Amin, Trevor, Ron all with excellent times. I got to award some with their medal. I saw my blogging friend Kelly and awarded him his well deserved medal. I even got to see a co-worker finish with his wife who was running her first ever half marathon.

Once the marathon runners started to arrive, I then loaded my arm with the white ribboned medals. These runners amazed me! There were a couple of people I was paying close attention for and was so happy to greet them as they crossed, give them a medal and a hug. My hiking friend Derek did absolutely amazing for his first ever marathon, as did my blogging friend Barb who I had never met until that second. They were crossing the finish line fast and furious and there was never a dull moment. Some asked for hugs which I gladly gave and others looked like they needed a hug but didn't have an ounce of energy to ask for one, so I volunteered one and they were pleasingly accepted. Others near brought me to tears! I have been in their runners, so I know what that second is like when you finish. After some time, I recognized a face and a shirt, then positioned myself to award a medal to Martin Parnell. Today was Marathon #94 of the 250 he plans to do this year.

Once the runners thinned out, I had a moment to get a photo. At this point, I stayed for another half hour and called it a day at 1:00.
This was truly a fulfilling experience! I definitely want to work the finish line again another time! I may not have a voice come tomorrow and my back may hurt from standing on pavement for six hours. I still feel chilled to the bone and I'm working at warming my toes. The early start to the day and standing in the rain, snow and cold was well worth the pay off!

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a very rewarding day :-)

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  2. How wonderful! I always feel so grateful when I finally cross the finish line and that kind volunteer puts the medal around my neck and tells me congratulations - there is a lot of love flowing at those kind of moments!

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  3. I admire very much the volunteers. A very rewarding day. I like the pictures.

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  4. Great job Alexandra! I always thank volunteers who I met while I'm crossing the finish line :)
    I appreciate sincerely them.

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