I ran two races on Ottawa Race Weekend on May 26-27 and I’d like to send a “Thank You” note to all of the people who volunteered to make the course safe, give water and do the 1 001 things that you wouldn’t notice unless they weren’t done. I’d like to include the people who lined the roads and cheered for runner – friends and strangers alike – because “crowd support” is among those 1 001 things that one definitely misses when it isn’t there.
On Saturday night, Reid and I ran the 5 kilometre race together. There were lots of people along the route cheering and their cheers and signs gave us lots to talk about as we ran. We joked about which of us they were cheering for as we covered the distance. When you’re 7 years old, it’s probably better to call this race a 5 000 metre run, since the longest run you do at school is 100 metres. It would have taken so much longer and so many more ”c’mon, we’re almost there” encouragements. Reid, herself, noticed the importance of crowds last summer when we ran a charity run with few spectators – “It’s easier to run when people are cheering, right?”
The importance of the water station people – and the amazing people who handed out sponges – was incredibly apparent during the half-marathon on Sunday morning! I enjoyed the overcast weather for the first few kilometres but then the sun came out and I started to struggle. But there were always smiling people holding out cups of water and saying encouraging things. The people who stood on the course for hour and after hour, directing the runners around corners also had smiles, noise makers and positive messages to share.
The half-marathon route went by organized cheering stations and people standing along the route. There were also musicians playing in little tents – who I now imagine were hot but I didn’t think of their comfort at all when I was running by, appreciating the distraction. Each of these people called out, held up signs or held their hand out for a high-five. In each case, their enthusiasm powered my steps. It’s an amazing effect.
I wish I could remember the words on the signs, I’d share them with you here. Many would work in every day life or exercising at the gym but I was concentrating too hard on finishing the race to do more than offer many “thank yous” as I ran on.
Here is another to those of you who might have been along the route as a volunteer or cheering. It meant more than you could know.
PS. Do you have a favourite cheering sign that you can remember?
I finished the half-marathon and that’s as a positive as I can be. I don’t handle the heat and humidity well. Finishing felt pretty darn good, though.
Tale of the scale
Seriously, I’m getting tired of reporting no loss. Also, it’s frustrating. I need to take action instead of making promises. Can one of you make that happen? Sigh.