This past Sunday I got the opportunity to volunteer at a race in Malibu. It’s actually the same trail race I ran last year and they have a 50k option, a 25k option (which is what I did and my race report is here) and then a 10k option. I think that trail running is a little out of my league right now but I do like going on shorter, mild elevation changing trail runs on occasion, but it’s hard where I am located at to make the time and effort to go on these trails. Malibu Creek is gorgeous and I do love the area up there and it was fun to volunteer.
Before I left to drive up there, I tweeted that I was volunteering and someone tweeted me back that they were happy that I was volunteering and they wished more runners and cyclists volunteered. Little did they know that this really made me think about runners and volunteering on my hour drive to Malibu. Luckily there was no traffic and I got there right on time, but I thought about that statement and it made me realize that runners are a very selfish breed. Now, I’m speaking generally, or maybe just speaking about myself. Personally, I never want to volunteer because A. the races are early, B. I’m training for my own race C. I have to drive somewhere and D. it’s volunteering. I just don’t have time to do it since I’m running all the time and what if the race falls on a long run day of yours or you have a race that day. Also, I’ve noticed that many runners are “Type A” personality. I think I have a hint of that in me and I’m an obsessive planner. It’s just hard to take the time out and give back but I did realize how much it was appreciated while I was volunteering.
I’m learning that A LOT goes into making a race happen daily at work. Pretty much blow your mind a lot. It’s insane how much we talk about trash cans and port-a-potties. It also has made me realize how much volunteers are appreciated and needed to make an event work. The PCTR races are generally a little bit smaller than huge races and the running community there is great. Everyone seems to know everyone and is friendly and is out there to have a good time and have fun, which I think gets lost in competition sometime. Believe me, when I got up at 5:30 for the second day in a row on the weekend, I regretted volunteering. I didn’t want to drive to Malibu, I didn’t want to stand around in the cold, and I didn’t want to go. I thought about not going and that also made me realize how selfish I was being.
The line for check in for the 50k and 25 k. Notice the mud that everyone was standing in. I thought about wearing my Uggs but I’m glad I opted for my rainboots in that mud!
It wasn’t going to be for that long, I would see some of my friends and I was ‘giving back to the running community’ as my friend Billy puts it. He always talks about that and I’m realizing more and more how important that is. So on the drive up to Malibu Creek I thought about being less selfish and giving back more in more aspects of my life, including making sacrifices, which is hard for me. Once I got there, I immediately was welcomed and everyone was excited and it was fun to check people in. Runners may be selfish on occasion, but they are also some of the nicest people around. That is my favorite part of running sometimes. The encouragement and bond everyone shares.
Checking people in for the 10k. Everyone was so nice and excited to be out on the trails.
I also ran into Lisa! She is so nice and it was great to meet her in real life and I totally stole this picture from her blog :)
Look who ran the 25k. Billy! You can find his race report here
My friend and fellow Maniac, Emil, was out there volunteering too. He is a great guy and crazy marathoner! I love running into him at so many different races and he volunteers often too! He wrote a volunteer report too.
The starting line area in the background and where everyone checked in for the run. Though it was muddy, they said the trails held up very well and it was going to be a great day out there.
It was a gorgeous day out and I was glad I volunteered and saw the race off. I didn’t stay until the finish but talking to a few people and the drive home was great. I’m glad for both small and big running events. I’m glad for volunteers and I’m glad for the ability to run.