2017 & 2018 Team Volunteered at the Austin Marathon

Today I woke up at 4:45AM to pick up four teammates and head down to the mile 5 water station of the Austin Marathon. It was somewhere between too warm and too cold and humid. A hundred riders from both the 2017 and 2018 joined forces to support the runners as they ran the half or full marathon. Before the runners started racing in, we set up trash/recycling bins and filled an unbelievable number of water cups…this was my first time at a marathon, so I didn’t really understand why we needed so many. As the first runners began filing through, I cheered on with the rest of the team as we handed water to people racing past. We had a great time yelling encouragement, but as the middle of the race started showing up, I finally understood why we needed so much water. Volunteers were taking cups from the table four at a time as I refilled them with a spout that refused to keep it’s pressure up. I didn’t expect to have so much fun coordinating between teammates placing empty cups, filling them with the hose, and having other teammates grab them in a rush to keep runners #hydrated, but it was awesome. Something about yelling encouragement to the runners, seeing 2017 riders and alumni racing past, working frantically, and getting to talk with the 2018 team made up for the lack of sleep. Also the nap I took after helped!

It was nostalgic to see how the 2018 team was still meeting each other because I remember how awkward I felt at volunteer events during my on-boarding semester. I didn’t know many people, so I was just trying to remember names and not embarrass myself. Since then my team has basically become family, and I live for any time I get to hang out with them. One of my favorite parts of Texas 4000 so far has been the community, and it baffles me that I’ve only known most of these people for about a year. Seeing how loud our team yelled for our teammates running gave me goosebumps – it’s incredible to see (and hear) how much we all care about and support each other.

Volunteering at the marathon was a highlight of my semester. Shout out to all the amazing Austin Marathon runners and every volunteer that made it happen!

Written by: Basil Hariri