Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Providence - in the rain!

This weekend was a major shift in my running career.  Instead of running I volunteered.  I was not planning on running this weekend.  I ran last weekend and had thought that would be enough racing for a while.  Well I was wrong.

All of the hype for Rock 'n' Roll - Providence was exciting and oh how I wanted to race.  However, my hamstring was sore and the expo race fee was $115.  On Thursday I decided to volunteer instead...and then I looked at the weather!  The weather did not disappoint.   They said it was going to rain and it did.

The start line as the race officials coordinated with the Providence Police.
The race started 15 minutes late.
Maybe they should have started talking a little earlier.
Note the rain waited to pour until the race started.

As the race got closer to starting the crowds gathered under the overhang of the Providence railroad station.
I was posted at the start line managing coral 3.  It was so different being on that side of the operation.  After the start we moved forward and within a couple of minutes coral 3 was on their way.  We stood off to the side and cheered all the runners on as they crossed the line.  There were a few tutus, one Elvis, and one fairy.  For the most part everyone what sporting their normal running gear (so not Disney running).  After we pulled the start line equipment we were off to the finish line.  The rain really set in at that point and continued for the next 4+ hours.  They had 7000+ runners in the race and that meant that 7000+ medals had to be removed from their little plastic bags and hung on the racks.  The finish line volunteer coordinator stopped by to ask for help.  I was chosen to step up and take charge of one of 3 data loggers.  So you know those 7000+ runners, well I was tasked with logging as many race numbers as possible over the course of 3 hours (in the pouring rain).  It was amazing to see people come across the line.  I have never played such a pivotal roll in a race.  Nor have I ever spent so much time right at the finish line watching so many people finish.

No, that is not the winner.
That is a race official goofing off before the real finishers crossed the line.
Look at all that rain!
If you have never volunteered for a race before you should defiantly try it.  Turn the table on your own racing and see what it takes to make a race happen.  Everyone always thanks the volunteers, but I don't think you really know what they do for you until you actually try it yourself.  At the end of my shift I climbed into my car and drove away with my free lunch, a smile on my face, and soaked shoes.

Would I do it again, Yes!  Of course next year I will register for the Rock 'n' Roll Providence early and I will definitely be running.  I am currently register for 3 races between October 2011 and May 2012.  Can you guess which race I am registered for in February?

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