Volunteer

Day 86

It was a lazy day and a very happy one. How so? 

I started the day going to a free 5K run at the warf downtown DC. It was a race to celebrate Black Women History Month. Unlike the New Year race, this race was untimed. It was also started late. 15 minutes late. I rarely have been to a race thst started  late.

I was pressing for time today because I had to be on another race course, volunteering that was about an hour drive away. So I had to  finish the race by 9:30 ish to make it at this other place. 

Bridge with two runners embracing
Part of the 5K course before the start of the race

There is no way for me to run a 15 minutes 5K. I came across a friend at the starting line whom I haven’t seen for more than a year. He told me back during new year, he ran it in 16 minutes. He is fast. For me, it would be lucky if I pull 26 minutes today. 

I had a good run but didn’t finish. When 9:30 came around I left the race and headed toward my car. My feet were still quite sore from Wednesday long run. I had no regret to stop at halfway. It was one of a few races I bailed, probably my first actually.

Actually I have about 15 minutes of buffer for traffic and what not. I ended arriving 20 minutes early at the other site. There were no traffic. The drive only took 40 minutes. I did get lost finding where I parked my car and that costed about 15 minutes. I could have finished the 5K before going, but I would drive like crazy to get there.

For the rest of the day I volunteered at the other race. I might run this race someday (Seneca50K). It is a much harder course than the  one I ran in VA beach. The course is longer than in a true marathon. I think the marathon ended up being 28 miles and the 50k probably couple miles more than 50k. Some people reached our station reported they already ran 27 miles. We didn’t put up the mileage sign, and if runners asked us, we would tell them it is 26.8. It is because trail running, distances are approximate as I was told. 

I finished my shift by 1:30 pm. I stayed behind and walked part of the course since one of my meetup groups was going to hike here as well in a week. I want to check the trail condition first. 

A quiet walk around the lake
Originally, I signed up wanting to be a sweeper but was assigned to serve at an Aid Station instead. In the end, I got to sweep the course too! It was unofficial. I was there with the last runner.

We ran into a situation, I guess to be expected, that our aid station closed at 4:15 pm but, there were runners further back that had not reached our station, the sweeper before us was too kind letting them continue the race.

Sweeper had a diplomatic job to get the last few runners off the course and inform them that they didn’t meet the cut-off time (and clear the trail of our flags and directional ribbons). That is a tall order!

We waited a bit after closing at our station and were told some runners are still out there. I decided to run up to look for the other sweeper who was supposed to arrive at our station before the closing time pushing the people through.  I came across a bunch of runners and finally met up the other sweeper who was working toward our end. I ran back to the aid station and report to everyone the situation and our sweeper there waiting. The last runner finally arrived at our station at 5:00, which was after the final cut off time for the whole course. There were still 1.5 miles to go. Our sweeper was kind enough and decided to let last runner continue to the finish line. We finally arrived at the finish line around 5:25. I was glad the clock was running just for him! 

Then I ran back to my car which was parked at the aid station, 1.5 miles away. The sun has set by then. I left the course at 6:30 pm. In total I ran about 4-5 miles and walked about 5-6 miles.

 I had plenty time by myself too as I walked the course and I needed it. By not running, I could see many things. I spent the whole day on the course and not regretting it. A lazy day.