2015 Riders Volunteering at Bruises & Bandages
by Caitlyn Valadez
Bruises and Bandages 5K, 10K, and ½ Marathon, was a unique opportunity to blend the current 2015 Texas 4000 Team with our newly selected 2016 Team. We all pulled into the parking lot at Russell Park bright and early at 6am with layers, upon layers of clothing, and coffees in hand. This was an event that I had the opportunity of volunteering at last year and was definitely looking forward to it the second time around. It is a women’s only event where runners with various experience have the chance to enjoy beautiful scenery and a great atmosphere. Last year I had the opportunity to serve as directional staff and cheer on the runners halfway through their ride and help put a little pep in their step, so needless to say I was eager to see what this year held.
We were responsible for setting up the tents (which proved to be everyone’s entertainment of the morning), working water stations, making pancakes, and serving as directional staff along the course. I had the pleasure of working the finish line and passing out the finisher’s awards. There was a great DJ, some killer dance moves, and lots of cheering for the runners as they crossed the finish line.
However the best part was that we were able to enjoy this event with the new 2016 team. I was nostalgic because this event was one of the first instances in which I truly began making deeper connections with the people that I would be embarking on this momentous journey with last year. While meeting the new members of the Texas 4000 family, I thought about how much I and the team had changed within the past year and it brought me so much joy to see the new team so enthusiastic and eager to learn more about us and the organization. We are a family of cancer fighters dedicated to making a difference and it was a privilege getting the chance to meet the newest members of the family.