Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nike Women's Marathon

Only now do I feel recovered from the weekend...what are we know Thursday? Crikey. Well that's also because my weekend included Monday and Tuesday. After that great weekend with Nike I played tour guide Monday and Tuesday for family visiting from the Philippines. All great things, exhausting but fun. I ate a ton too, what else is new.

Speaking of Nike, that was a really fun weekend. I'm still thinking about it. The Nike Women's Marathon runners were some of the best I've ever served. They were polite, appreciative and for the most part clean - they didn't trash the course too badly. And most of all they were beautiful; sweat, running mascara, energy drink stains and all. It was fun having a ton of ladies running towards you as you tried to serve them Gatorade/Water. Well most of them weren't even looking at us, their gaze went right through into some point in the distance. Our aid station was at the 17 mile point on one side and the 25 mile point on the other. Runners see us twice, on their way to Lake Merced and on the way back to the finish.

One woman in particular helped make my day and I was already having a blast. I won't mention her name because she's a lurker on this blog. She came through the aid station, called me by name, introduced herself and congratulated me for my finish at WS. Thank you, sorry I couldn't be more excited. I was totally taken aback and in shock. There was a moment there where I was speechless trying to figure out where I had met you until you explained that you were a lurker on the blog. Whew...for a moment I thought I lost another pound of brain cells. Congratulations on Nike.

I would volunteer for this race again if given the chance, it was a blast. I thought Tri-California did a great job with the logistics. I didn't really get to see the entertainment part of the marathon having been at the aid station all day but I heard no complaints, only that chocolate is the last thing most people want to eat while at a marathon - chocolate stop was mile 19. Kristin Sasser was an excellent partner, she was cool, calm and organized. 45 minutes before the first runner was supposed to come through our station was only at 50%. Of the 30 volunteers we were supposed to have we only had 10-12. I wanted Kristin to get on the horn and ask for help but she was confident that we would be fine. She moved folks around, allocated our resources in the right places and we were golden. Speaking of which we owe a huge thank you to the Medical volunteers. They numbered about 7 and helped out when they saw we needed help. While I'm at it, huge thanks to YMCA Triathlon and their group leader Mario Duarte. They were the volunteers assigned to our station. I got involved in triathlon through the YMCA and it was nice to see some old faces.

My only regret about this whole event was that we couldn't stay out longer on the course. After we were given the OK to tear down the 17-mile side first, we had to move quickly. The roads were going to be opened to traffic and more importantly we were losing volunteers as the day went on. Kristin and I didn't want to reload the truck by ourselves! The 25-mile side came down a couple of hours later and we just about got everything in the truck when the CHP pulled up to tell us that the roads were about to be reopened. However the approval to tear down was given before the last set of runners/walkers was off the course. We had people coming through a torn down aid station. How disheartening it must have been to be in the last group and seeing things being torn down while you were still on the course. That doesn't happen in Ultra. You get timed out first before someone will tear down an aid station in front of you. That's my only regret.

After packing the truck, Kristin and I drove it back. Originally we were also supposed to unload it, thankfully that didn't happen. Besides back at headquarters they actually had forklifts and pallet movers, we had neither. We got cold pizza and all the Cliffshot Energy Gel and Cliffshot blocks that we could carry. I think I have enough energy food to last me all of next year! Sweet.

Overall a great and rewarding experience so much so that the next day I threw my name in for "Run Director" for our tri-club next year. I was asked twice and I turned it down. I got to thinking that since I'm going to be involved anyway I might as well go big. No guarantee, there might be others that want the job, more power to them. One thing I noticed about myself, if given the option to lead or just help out I would always just help out. I get all the fun without the responsibility. A bit of a chickensheet I know. Well I'm trying to change that. As the old Nike slogan used to go: Just Do It.


  1. Anonymous9:59 PM

    yahoooooo!!!! VOTE FOR RICK!

  2. Anonymous4:41 AM

    didn't read your whole entry but just wanted to say that the pic is a pretty good pic of you =]
    look at that smile! .:.gasp.:.

  3. Sounds like everyone had a wonderful time.
    I used to live across the street from one of those aid stations on ocean beach ( Great hwy between Vicente & Ulloa) Gosh I miss that fog out there.