Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mini-Marathon for the Women

Today was my official entry into volunteering for the NYRR's club. In order to qualify for the Marathon next year, I also have to offer my services to 1 race per year. What a better way, I thought, than to do it at an all girls race?

I wasn't alone in this thought. Jack, who had jogged to my house, took the train with me to Queensbridge, and from there we jogged over the bridge and up to 90th and Central Park Drive. We got there fairly early, but in the end there were over 30 volunteer race marshalls in our group alone (there are 6 groups all together). And of all those volunteers, only 2 were women.

Belinda Saunders, race director for our group, walked up towards 102nd street, disposing of us along the way at our points to marshall. It was very well organized, I have to say. And truthfully, the job was not that hard. Just make sure that the runners stayed to the right of the cones, and that the bikers slowed down when they were riding by. Having the cop cars clear the race path prior to the start of the race was a big help too.
Here I am lookin' like a dork, trying to take a shot of myself with that lousy 640x380 RAZR of mine. Blecchh!

The race started at 9am, and I was about 2.9 miles away. Sure enough, the first two packs of runners were passing me by at about 16 minutes after the hour. Deena Kastor was in the first pack, which featured about 7 women or so. This was followed by another pack, and then nothing. And I mean nothing for almost a few minutes.

And then the stampede began....

The race featured over 4000 women from all over the world. And now the herd of women were beginning to come on down. The trampling of feet became almost soothing. I felt I did a good job keeping the runners in line, but most of all, I made sure to encourage as often as possible. Especially, later on in the race, when more and more runners seem to be failing. That's when I really reached down inside and rooted them on. It made me feel great. Perhaps, in retirement, I may look to do volunteer work for the Road Runners Club. It was fun!

I saw Debbie Pesa, but did not know that Carol of our team had run as well too. They must have been neck-n-neck with one another. Carol of Forest Park and Debbie of Ally Pond, you both did awesome. Bonnie also was right behind them too:It was funny, because I was looking for Bonnie, thinking to look for the Forest Park Runners shirt. Instead, she found me. I snapped off a picture, but it turned out that I took a picture of a blonde instead by accident (Bonnie, I swear it was an accident!!!). Pauline also dropped by, and she noticed me too. I made sure not to screw up this time, and even ran alongside to get this shot below of her.

I had people asking me how long a kilometer in miles was. Remember, this was a global race. Particularly, a lot of Swedish women. Someone had asked me when Lasker Pool, the area right behind me, was going to be open for business. She had this wild look in her eye, as if though she would have jumped off the course to take a swim. LOL.

Fortunately, no one passed out, or did anything stranger than ask me questions about closed pools. However, there was this older woman (see below). I think she was a bit confused as to whether or not she thought this was a balancing class as opposed to a race!
When all was said and done, I picked up my Women's T-shirt (lol) but I doubt Ileana will use it because the only size they had was extra large. If there's anyone out there that wants an x-large Mini Marathon T-Shirt, just let me know!

Before I show you the picture of the red truck which really signifies the end of the runners, here is a rundown (courtesy of NYRR) of today's event. Thanks again to the New York Road Runner's Club for putting forth a great event!

The temperature hit 96 degrees today. A few hours ago, we watched the Belmont. When the horses were being walked to the gate, I took notice at the 38 to 1 longshot, Da'Tara. That horse looked locked and focused. I wish I had bet too. Who would have figured it? With Casino Drive as the only philly with half a chance to beat Big Brown being scratched, it looked like Big Brown had it all locked up. It was amazing how nice Belmont Park looked. If you know the area well, then you know what a dump the area around it is too. Sorry neighbors, but Hempstead Turnpike is disgusting around there. In the end Da'Tara did the unthinkable and won, while Big Brown, looking to end a 30 year Triple-Crown drought, came in dead last.

All the racing gave me encouragement to run tomorrow, but it is going to be too hot, so I'm going to sit this one out. Still...


DGA said...

Who's that dork with the Nike cap?
Nice blonde! Did she run or was she there just for the picture?

Nice volunteer job, I must admit.

DGA said...

Nice Logo! Very good upgrade from the original.