I had the pleasure of volunteering at yesterday’s Carrabbas Half Marathon Relay. I took a couple of pictures while I was out at McAllister Park but neither turned out as well as I had hoped so no pics for this entry today (sorry). Because of the heat, humidity, and the fact that I knew I was going to be out there for half the day, I opted to leave my fancy-schmancy camera at home and took photos with my phone. Oh well. As Da says, “I have the pictures in my mind!”
Yesterday was the first time I was a course marshal and a chip remover (or as I termed it, “Chip Clipper”).
Being a course marshal was pretty cool. I got to wear the orange safety vest and was responsible for telling drivers to turn around so they wouldn’t hit the runners and point the runners in the correct direction when they came off the trail and headed onto the pavement. After almost taking the wrong fork in the path at the Birdlover’s a few weeks ago because the course marshal had wandered off, I know how important it is for SOMEONE to be where they’re supposed to be during the race!
I had a few surprises: the curious little fawn that wandered to almost an arm’s length away from me and then scampering quickly away was the best one. The idiot award goes to the “stoner” who drove up the road and almost hit me, even after I had begun waving my arms manically to get him to stop. His question to me was classic: “Well, how am I supposed to get out of here?” I turned to him with what I can only imagine was a mixture of annoyance and incredulity and calmly stated, “You’ve got enough room to do a perfect 3-point turn.” So what does the dumbass gentleman do? Attempts to drive forward (yes, into me & the runners) and make a tight u-turn. Guess his car doesn’t have a “reverse.”
One job I hope to never have again is Chip Clipper. My colleagues from the best junior high school in Texas will tell you I’m pretty-much a germophobe and hate to be touched and I don’t know what possessed me to volunteer to remove timing chips from the shoes of sweaty runners in the first place. Let’s just say the moment that grossed me out was the first time someone’s sweat dripped on my arm while I was snipping the twistie holding his chip to his shoe. Blech! I couldn’t get to my towel fast enough.
The best part about being a chip clipper was getting to cheer in both the early and the final finishers. That was the coolest! Especially for the final finishers. We were the only ones left to cheer them in. Trust me, as a “back of the packer” myself, it means the world to have someone standing there to recognize your accomplishment as you cross the finish line.
The Carrabbas relay makes the second time I’ve been out to McAllister Park. I don’t know why my friend, the Ironman (as in Ironman Triathlete), says the park isn’t safe. I guess if I were to be out there alone, it wouldn’t be the smartest place for me to be. That’s why I’ll make sure Hub goes with me.
I plan to head back and explore some of the trails, at the very least stay on the main road through the park. It’s a beautiful place.
Despite the idiot drivers.