Working the Lansing Marathon

Having never volunteered at a running event before, I thought, since I’m a runner, I really ought to work a race. Today, Sunday, I worked the Lansing Marathon

Originally, I had signed up to volunteer at least a month and a half ago. But I was never contacted. So I talked to a my friend Julie, who is the Volunteer Coordinator, and she said she couldn’t find me on any of her lists.

I went back to the website on Wednesday and signed up again. (Maybe the computer ate my first signup.) I chose Course Marshal because that’s where the most need was for volunteers. Then I attended a training session on Saturday where I received my instructions.

A lot of work goes into race, especially a marathon. I was glad to do my little part. Even if it was 25 degrees Fahrenheit when I took up my post a little before 8:30am this morning. I was across the street from the entrance to Potter Park Zoo, and near two volunteers, one of whom was working a radio. He’d volunteered at a fluid station last year at the marathon.

Some frantic last-minute adjustments had to be made to the course. The original course was going to use a lot of the Lansing River Trail. But during the last two weeks, we’ve endured several heavy downpours of rain. So much so, that many portions of the river trail are now part of the river.

These are the photos I took near my post.

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The river is usually much lower.

Side note: My son’s Spring soccer season was supposed to start two weeks ago. But all of their practices and games have been cancelled due to either rain or soggy-sponge fields.

During the race, I spent most of my time clapping and cheering on the runners, whether they were running the Half-Marathon, Full Marathon, or the Relay. I also received many “thanks” from the runners for volunteering. As usual, the faster the runner, the less clothing they wore. One muscular guy, we’re talking P90X-defined muscles, ran shirtless. It was well after noon before the temperature rose over 40 degrees. Though the sun was out all day, which was a big relief after these gray, rain-soaked weeks.

What was heartening to see were so many runners wearing something Boston-related. Runners really are a community.

When the last runner came my way around 2:30pm, I clapped for her. Then I handed off my vest to the man in the red truck who was slowly tailing her. I walked over to my car, called my wife and told her I was tired and on my way home.

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6 thoughts on “Working the Lansing Marathon

  1. What a wonderful day! Poignant and full of meaning…

    • It was. I got a free shirt and a touch of sunburn on my face. The first time I’ve ever gotten any kind of sunburn in April, or when the temps are below 80 degrees. Go figure.

  2. I remember seeing you. I ran the half and you cheered me on. I was at a point where I really needed the encouragement. Thanks for volunteering your time! It was much appreciated by at least one runner.

  3. I remember you as well!! 🙂 Thanks for the words of encouragement as I was trying so hard to not cry over my IT bands locking up on me and not allowing me to run. You’re awesome!

  4. E and Larisa, It’s nice to be remembered. 🙂 You are both very welcome. Congratulations on your races! I know a lot of time, effort, and miles go into preparing for a half or full marathon. Someday I hope to tackle those distances.

  5. Thanks for your support. It will not be possible without help from volunteers. Enjoyed this entry.

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