I really encourage everyone to volunteer for a race. It really leaves you with an appreciation for the race directors who most often make $1-$2/hour if anything at all for all the time and work they put in after everything is paid for . It also reminds me that this is supposed to be fun, I need to come prepared and calm so that it can be.
I worked packet pickup for 6 hours on friday. It's so fun seeing people's excitement about the upcoming race, being able to answer questions and calm new runners fears and concerns. Of course I had my share of angry people that I couldn't help because they weren't following the protocol given in the emails and race website. Everyone please remember to bring your photo ID and don't expect to pick up others packets without a copy of their ID (if your race allows that). People really have and do try to pick up a strangers race number to use for themselves on big races like this that sell out. Sad, I know, but it happens.
Well guess why the race got started 30 minutes late? Because there were 3 bus loads of people waiting at the pickup for the buses having to return from the top of the canyon. I know it sucks to be waiting up there forever, we were going crazy trying to rush things and get those last people up.
Afterward I was glad to hear there weren't any mobs or riots on the volunteers at the shirt table. I know runners and their race shirts, it's not something you mess with! Unfortunately the printing company decided not to keep their contract finish dates and all of the size M and L shirts are still in California somewhere. Oh man, you should have seen the fear on the race directors faces trying to figure out what we were going to tell the racers, Luckily I think most everyone dealt with the "blow" fairly well. They will get their shirts either at the store next week or mailed to their house
(a big added expense for the RD's).
Oh and I'm sorry for my friends who didn't expect the trail part of the course, I feel bad, lesson to be learned though: always look at the course map online.
Anyway, I had a good time, saw some excellent running....but
I have 'watched' my last race!