On Sunday, the Hatley Castle 8km race took place at Royal Roads University. This run is hosted by the Frontrunners Athletic Club which I am a part of. Typically I run this race but in my last post, I mentioned I had some pain in my shin so opted out of racing and continued with volunteering.
The Recreation Centre on campus is where all the volunteers meet for set up before the runners and spectators to arrive. When I arrived at the gym pretty much everything was done by others who had arrived earlier. I started helping with race bib pick up and then was given other tasks to do.
While at the gym I started talking with fellow runners I knew and seeing how they were feeling about their run. Some I spoke to had never run this race before so they had no idea what they were in for. I didn’t sugar coat it and said that the course was hilly but there was some downhill to even out the uphill.
One lady doubted her abilities to be able to run it and I encouraged her to think otherwise. I recommended to think positively and believe in herself. The fact that she was there and ready to run was the first big step and the rest would be what it would be. Negative thoughts and doubt would make her run harder.
I then proceeded to tell little tips of hill running that have been passed on to me the last few years. Things like:
- When tackling a hill run on the balls of your toes and pump your arms to help push you up the hill.
- Keep your eyes looking forward and not down at the ground.
- When you arrive at the top of the hill keep running even though you will be wheezing and want to stop.
- When running downhill don’t hold back and lean forward.
As I spoke she had a smile on her face and I liked that. She was ready and fired up to give it her best.
Once the race started I went out on the course to marshal and cheer the runners on. I enjoyed doing that and I got to see my husband near the end of his race. As I saw him running towards me I cheered “Go, Warren! Go!” There was a man standing near me who then said, “Go, Warren Beattie!” I looked at the man and said: “How did you know that?” He said, “Know what?” “That his name is Warren Beattie?” I said. He then proceeded to say tell me about Warren Beatty, a famous actor. I then said, “Yes, I know about him but my husband’s name is Warren Beattie and he just ran by.” We all had a good laugh and a bit more conversation about it.
Once back inside the gym, I ran into the lady I had spoken to earlier about the race. She had a gigantic smile on her face and she said “I did it! I had Kyla words going through my head. I also didn’t stop once to walk. I kept going!” That moment right there is why I volunteer and I was happy that I didn’t race that day. She was beaming and she was so excited about her race. She continued to tell me that she is learning so much about running this year and enjoying.
As I type I have goosebumps because I know and understand that feeling but many people who start running I find give up because they find it hard and they never experience that moment. I’m still learning about running eight or so years later and this year especially I find I am learning even more about me and what I can do.
I also got to see my physio guru, Stephanie after the race because a few of the staff from Parkway Physio were there giving treatments/massage to runners. She told me that my tibialis posterior is still weak so the tibialis anterior is compensating. Steph taped me up and recommended taking Monday off from running. I listened and feel that taking one day off now with eight weeks left of training is better than a few weeks closer to race day.
Do you have a favorite volunteer moment?
Was it at a race or another event?
Share your favorite moment with me.