Friday, June 9, 2017

Turning the tables

With Sulphur Springs having been the 101st event in which I've participated, it would be impossible to say how many wonderful people have helped me along the way. At every single race there are friendly folks packing race kit bags, handing out bibs and safety pins, directing us along our way (so lemmings like me don't get much) and providing nourishment in the form of food, drink and cheering at the aid stations. Another kind soul will brave the odours of hordes of sweaty runners just to put a medal around your neck, and still more fabulous people will usually have spread out a table full of delicious post-race food upon which the racers descend like a pack of spandex-clad vultures.

Running for hours on end is hard, but volunteers make it easier for all of us on the course by working even harder to keep us fed, hydrated and on track. Without those volunteers, there is no event - we're just smelly idiots running around in the woods. This is why I try to make a particular point of thanking all of the wonderful people who turn a trail, a jug of water and a bunch of bananas into an event that draws racers in and keeps them coming back.

You guys rawk!

Thanks aren't really enough to pay the debt we owe to the excellent human beings who donate their time to making the fun happen, though. Therefore tomorrow and Sunday, Tanker and I will be heading down to Shade's Mills Conservation Area to volunteer in any way we may be needed at Conquer the Canuck. It's our chance to give back a little bit to the local ultrarunning community that has always been so friendly and welcoming.

Having done some volunteer work at triathlons in the past, I know it can be a really fun and rewarding experience, and I'd really encourage you to offer your services at a race sometime if you possibly can. It's good for your soul to be on the other side of the table from time to time - you may just learn to be a little kinder to the person offering you a cup of water and a friendly smile.

It's bad form to eat all the aid station goodies, though.

So to all those racing this weekend, I wish you swift feet and a light heart! Tank and I will do our best to make it as easy for you as possible to reach your goals.

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