In advance of race day, we received great communication with clear instructions on what to expect on race morning and where to park. We were easily able to find the parking area at the Convention Center in Virginia Beach and within a few minutes, hopped on the shuttle to the finish line area. We were easily able to find the volunteer tent and pick up our shirts. Mine more closely resembled a t-shirt dress but I wasn't really concerned about fashion at this part of the morning. We snapped some early morning photos of King Neptune, presiding over the finish line and then it was time to find our volunteer coordinator at the finish line.
|I never get tired of seeing the King|
|Such a quiet place about 90 minutes before the runners arrived!|
|Medals for days!|
At first, the runners came through slowly and then all of a sudden (probably somewhere around 1:50 pace or so) it was as if flood gates opened. I handed out medals as fast as I could grab them off my arm, where we all had them staged. I tried to make a note to congratulate each runner by name, if it was on their bib. Now I understand why many races don't place medals around your neck...it takes a lot longer than simply handing out the medals.
Throughout the morning, I saw local friends, coworkers, blog friends, and Twitter friends. The finish line is simply an amazing place to see people. For the most part, we saw smiles, hugs, cheers, and high fives. We also saw wobbly legs and a few tears (and not the good kind of tears). I loved sharing hugs with buddies and squealing over new PRs. I'm so proud of everyone I saw - Preston, Kathryn, Mar, Sarah, Becca, and many others.
The volunteer experience was easily as rewarding as running and I appreciate the organization and great communications from J&A about the event. We even received a post-event follow-up email today asking for feedback for future races, and not just for volunteering. That impressed me! Ever volunteered at a race? What was the highlight?
I can't write this post without mentioning a really sad piece of news from Sunday morning. As we were sitting on the shuttle headed to the race finish line area, Adam received a call that his beloved aunt who had been battling stomach cancer passed away. He was a real trooper to stick out the morning and keep his commitment to volunteer at the finish line area. Aunt Cathy loved to volunteer and he felt it was an appropriate way to honor her memory on Sunday morning.