2018 Volunteered at the 3M Half Marathon

If there’s one thing that you should know about me, it’s that I’m not a morning person. By “not a morning person” I mean that I’m naturally grumpy when I wake up, no matter the hour.

Despite this fact, I told myself that I was going to get up early to volunteer this past Sunday at the 3M half-marathon, and that I was going to enjoy it. But naturally the world had other plans for me, causing my alarms to not go off and me not to wake up until 6:20am (instead of my intended time of 5:45am), sprint out of the house with my jacket on inside out, and make it to our station at the 11-mile mark of the race, 2 minutes before we started at 6:45.

Despite the rocky start, the rest of the morning was full of fun, getting to know one another, and laughter. I know volunteering at an aid station during a marathon may not seem like it would be the ideal place to get to know a group of people, most of whom you hadn’t met before that, but trust me when I say that you can learn a lot about people when you’re slightly delirious from sleep deprivation. Here are some things I learned about the other 24 members of my team that also volunteered on Sunday:

  • If you don’t have time to eat breakfast, put a bag of Fruit Loops in your pocket and eat them when you get to wherever you’re going. Not only will you get the most important meal of the day, but your teammates will applaud you for your ingenuity.
  • If someone asks if you want to walk down to Quacks before the runners get to your station, you say yes. If you get to Quacks and they have cupcakes out, it is 100% acceptable to get one for breakfast.
  • Some people are Nuun people, and some people are water people (and the Nuun people are cooler).
  • Try eating a Nuun tablet at some point. It won’t be as bad as you think and you’ll get your electrolytes for the week.
  • Always carpool with someone to early morning events so that they’ll call you (in turn wake you up) wondering where you are at 6:20 when you were supposed to leave at 6:15.

While learning a little bit about one another, I think we all learned a lot about why we volunteer as a part of Texas 4000. People doing the race would run by us and often yell things like, “Thanks for coming out to help!” At first we were a little startled. We were all thinking and saying, “Why would they thank us?! We’re just standing here handing cups of water out while they run over 13 miles!” We realized that even though they were the ones actually doing the physical activity, they needed our help, whether it be in the form of tangible support like handing them water or Nuun or emotional support by yelling encouragements in order to finish what they set out to do.

I personally think this is a pretty awesome realization to have so early in this process, because not only will it constantly remind me why I volunteer, but it will also remind me to always be thankful of the support that I receive from my teammates, my wonderful team advisors, and the other members and staff of Texas 4000, because I definitely wouldn’t be able to get through the next 19 months without them.

3M

Written by 2018 Rider: Katie Lamberth