11. Volunteer at a race in Central Park

17 Jul

I’m not really a runner.

Oh, sure, I’ll run if there are dogs (or people barking like dogs) chasing after me. On occasion I might take a jog along the water IF I’m feeling particularly energetic and IF there is absolutely no humidity and IF the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter is aligning with Mars.

But usually, if I’m heading to the gym, I check what’s going to be playing on Bravo and that determines if I run or not. I need a good show to distract me from the fact that my legs are screaming at me to stop moving so fast.

Real Housewives or Top Chef = running

Anything else = lame elliptical

Frequently, lame elliptical wins out.

I’m not a hardcore runner. But my some of my best friends are. And they’re good. Like, other people who aren’t friends with them think they’re good, so it’s not just that I’m biased. I’ve developed a routine. Frequently, when they race in Central Park on weekend mornings, I wake up early, fill a to-go cup with coffee and watch them finish their race. And when they’re done, I stop at Levain Bakery and get a 2lb cookie for breakfast, because obviously watching people run makes me burn calories.

Big confession time:

I really really like to watch races in Central Park. And it’s not because of the cookie afterwards.

Everyone is cheering and happy and energetic and I realize it sounds so corny,  but I really love it. It’s such a good… vibe.

It’s just.. a thing I have. I’m ok with things. Love me, love my quirks.

These races need volunteers to help with various and sundry activities on race day. Usually the people who volunteer are runners themselves, and many are people who have to work at a race in order to qualify for the New York City Marathon.

If I’m going to be there to watch my friends cross the finish line, I might as well help, right? Lend a hand? Fill up water cups? I’m good at that.

So yesterday morning, at the ridiculous hour of 6:15, I headed to the bandshell at Central Park to gather my uber-attractive bright orange vest, and to learn just how to pass out post-race fluid and food.

The race didn’t start until 8 and the boxes of pears and pretzels (post-race breakfast of champions, clearly) took about 10 minutes to set up, so there was a lot of standing around. But honestly, at 6:45 in the morning, I’m ok with just chilling. No hardcore action for me, thank you very much.

Long morning short, I passed out pears to runners after the crossed the finish line, with a brief stint at the water station. And I had such a good time. Not only did I get to see my friends after they ran, but just being able to say “good job” to everyone else who competed. And the best was when the runners thanked us for volunteering. Like, actually said, “Thanks for being here and helping.”

Which totally made up for the one person who asked if the pear was organic, then made a face and put it back when he found out it wasn’t.

37 days until 26


One Response to “11. Volunteer at a race in Central Park”

  1. Jenny July 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    As a lady who’s been known to cheer on Marine Corps Marathon runners at7 AM “just because my apartment is near the top of the hardest hill and because that part of the race course never has any spectators,” I totally know how you feel.
    You’re so fun to read about<3

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