Volunteering was so much fun, probably as close as you can get without actually running, so if that doesn't appeal to you I recommend this route. It's actually pretty odd, because on paper, it sounds like it sucks.
Volunteering for a race process - (yes this will be a numbered list inside a numbered list)
1. Wake up at 4:30 am
2. Drive to race, sit in traffic, find parking
3. Stand for hours without access to bathrooms (if you are REALLY lucky you might get a portopottie), food, or drink, further made awesome in this particular race by the fact that the temperatures were in the 20s
4. Scream your head off
5. Try to find the two people you came to see in a sea of 15,000 runners as many times as you can
Sounds awful, right? NOT the case. It was so much fun, I loved cheering on all the runners and got some crazy energy from them so I wasn't even hungry or anything. We were "course marshalls" at about mile 12.5, which meant our job was to direct the runners and cheer. With the exception of maybe two elites, everyone just followed the other 14,999 runners so our job was basically to cheer, which we came to do anyway, but now we got free t-shirts and pretzels for it.
I saw Jill at the start
and Jackie at mile 12.5, and both of them looking fantastic at mile 14.something. On the other side of the street the marathoners came back between mile 14 and 15. The half marathoners were done by this time, so instead of the streets being filled there would be one person or one small group at a time running, and there were NO spectators other than me. This was exactly what I was hoping for so I screamed my ass off to try to help the marathoners get through that boring stretch. I really upped the words of wisdom from things like "great job!" to entire dialogues that started when they were way down the street. Such as "You guys trained so hard, you set the alarm early every Saturday, skipped happy hour on Fridays, it was all for this, you guys are going to finish a marathon today, and you are AWESOME!!". Sometimes I even went on longer. Marathoners are the best though because while I barely got a nod from the half people on the other side of the street (not that I expect it, I understand they are trying to finish a race!) I got smiles, thank yous, comments, and tons of appreciation from the marathoners. One girl ran over to tell me I was being so inspirational. I hope I helped at least one person get through a rough patch.
My sign was a big hit too.
So was Eric's.
Here's the picture I took of him when I just said "Give me the camera".
And here's the picture I took when I ordered him to look normal.
Two people took pictures of me, and way more took pictures of him. I want to find us on the internet.
I was wearing my Shamrock marathon finishers hat and feeling pretty good about running a marathon last week until I saw THREE people who had run the Shamrock marathon and were running again, at least one doing the full marathon. Um, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical this week?
We got videos of both Jackie and Jill at the finish looking absolutely beautiful (how do people do this??). Right after Jill finished I saw her across the entire compound somehow so I got my first post marathon run in as sprinted to her screaming her name psychotically. Not long after we saw Jackie, and both of them were walking and talking SO much better than I ever have after a marathon, and they hadn't even had an ice bath yet.