|Thanks Ernest Hershey's Flickr|
minutes after the finish. There used to be this "death march" for us mid pack people. After you crossed the finish line there was human gridlock as everyone had to pick up their dry cloths and whatnot from the trucks that brought it from the starting area. Even if you didn't have a bag you had do deal with the crowd. Starting this year they encouraged people not to bring a bag by offering us a lined poncho.
But this was still not so easy. It was still a quarter mile walk and I was already wearing my tin foil blanket and clutching the back of crap the NYRR wanted me to have after running a marathon.
As I approached the wall of ponchos I was wondering how I was going to put it on. my hand were full and my brain was beginning to solidify from both frost and the fact that I had moved my own body through 5 boroughs.
Suddenly, I was wearing a poncho. Some angel (who had been there already for many hours) just put it on me. Then, just as fast she was making another person not freeze.
So, yesterday I was course director of the Brooklyn Marathon. Our race was very different form the event I participated in two weeks ago. VERY DIFFERENT. It was 1/100th the size so every runner had the personal attention of the crew. Also, the staff and volunteers had the flexibility to make the runners experience better, not just follow the playbook. On raceday my job began at 5am, I had to set up the mile markers and then organized the bike marshals. We assigned a bike rider to each of the first 3 runners in each gender. There were cash prized involved and me had to make sure the winners actually won.
|Thanks Megan D.|
Then my fun began. I parked my mike and supervised the finish line. It did not need much supervision. All the volunteers knew what to do, but I got to add one special touch to make the finishers happier. Ya see, as soon as they finished they were given their medal a Mylar blanket and a warm hat. It had rained during the race. They were all cold and wet and dazed. They were also all holding their hats because it took two hand to keep the blanket on. I just got right in front of them and said "Give me your hat", they complied and I put it on their head. It is a rare treat that you can stand inches from a stranger and put a hat on their head. Many of them did not have the strength to thank me. But I understood, I was just there.
But not everyone had to be told to stop. I watched one of my running buddies finish and just stand limp. I put a hat on him but I was not sure if he was OK. When I walked him over to the med tent so he could sit, he really did not know how do deal with a chair. Once I got him to sit to told the medics "This is my friend, he is usually not this stupid. Can you take care of him" I saw him an hour later, he was fine, but he did not remember even being in the medical tent.
Stay tuned for some more photos, but I am gonna hit publish.