While an injured hamstring prevented me from running the 2010 Richmond Marathon, my love for the sport could not keep me on the sideline.
I’ve been a course marshall the past 2 years. Today’s marathon, however, was much more exciting than standing on a street corner, telling 10,000 runners to go exactly where they already knew they had to go. Since I missed out on the Marathon Training Team (MTT) fun all summer, this was my last chance to see what all the hype was about. I was assigned to drive 3 amazing MTT coaches all over the course to meet up with runners — Vicki, Donnie & Q.
Marathon Training Team coaches are da bomb
When I arrived at mile 5 to meet the coaches, I instantly knew I was in the right place. 25 yellow shirts, a tall green hat, a few pairs of striped socks & a viking helmet. Yup. These were the guys I was looking for.
- Donnie has been involved in with the Marathon Training Team for 8 years, but this was his first as a coach
- Vicki has been a coach for about 5 years
- Q has been there since the beginning. He has also been seen dressed in drag. The guy is just in-it-to-win-it, and that’s all there is to it.
The epitome of running
Fun. The MTT coaches have figured it out. These guys love running, and their joyful energy is contagious. They were all over the course, at every turn, beside every MTT runner. Crazy shirts, hats & socks. Smiling at every runner, until the last one crossed the finish line.
The journey. Running is about the journey towards a goal. A personal goal. A life change. A complete 180°. Or maybe just a new hobby. Whatever the journey is… it’s yours. Own it. Be proud of it.
Friendship. Most people see running as an individual sport, but running is meant to be shared. Although I didn’t have a chance to share it with the Marathon Training Team this year, I witnessed it first hand in the 3 hours I was out there. It’s magical. And not in a Disney World kind of way. In a goosebumps, happy tears, genuinely joyful kind of way.
Typically, when I volunteer for a race, it’s all about the runners. While my reason for volunteering still had the runner’s best interests at heart, this experience was an exciting one for me.
My energy & excitement for running has been rejuvenated. Dealing with a nagging injury for 5 months had a negative effect on me.
Being out there today helped me forget about 5 crappy months of no running, and once again look to the future – a future full of fun, friendship & incredible journeys.
It’s not until you share your running with others that you truly experience what the sport has to offer.