Last Sunday, after weeks of planning, I officially donned my race director hat for the local 5k race and kids’ Fun Runs hosted by my sons’ school.
|The start of one of the kids’ races|
After being both a participant and spectator, it was such a different experience to view a race through race director “glasses.” Yes there were the annoying requests (Can’t we get an extra race shirt?”); registration glitches (“We don’t have them on the list – they swear they paid!”), and volunteers who did not show up (“What do you mean we have no one directing the runners on Pleasant St?!”).
But as I watched the day unfold — watched each of the heats of the kids’ runs go off; medals hung around the necks of smiling faces; runners toe the line waiting for the 5k to start; and, stood along the street directing the runners, cheering and high-fiving them, before heading to the finish line to congratulate the winners and see the awards passed out — the joy (and relief) of seeing the day come together seriously outweighed any of the negatives.
Once the races were done, the awards given out, the raffles drawn and the cookout was done, our race committee was tired but feeling pretty good about how the day went overall. I think every runner should volunteer at race at least once. And, if you ever get the opportunity to be part of a race planning committee – take it! It will truly give you a whole new appreciation for the race experience.