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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Louisiana Marathon weekend: spectating, volunteering, and burning

I volunteered for gear check this weekend at one of my favorite races, the Louisiana marathon. As usual, race day was incredibly beautiful and perfect temperatures for running.
The state capitol from the finish area
Actually, since it's a mostly sunny course, it might have gotten a little warm for some people. Since I wasn't running, I persuaded myself that it was probably too hot for racing. Yep.
I asked around on Facebook and found a few people heading up to Baton Rouge that morning, one whom I know well (doing a long run/race) and one whom I know only vaguely (spectating). I picked them both up, and in the wee hours of the morning we made great time.
DIGRESSION: Girl who was spectating is sweet and all, but whatever happened to the lost art of conversation? She talked in a sad sort of way about her life for an hour without taking a breath. And really, it was mostly navel-gazing. Things like, "I have to prioritize me-time. I just remember that when I give, give, give, I empty out my store of life and have nothing left for me." and a ten-minute diatribe about the importance of sleep, and how she was strict about 8 hours and 40 minutes a night, no more, no less. I was like, I think I know where your me-time went. You're sleeping through it. And btw she's single, owns her home, no kids, no student loans, and a teacher, so I'm not really sure what's taking up all her time anyway. 
Anyway. So Kim was running the race (although just as a long run), so I dropped her at the start and easily found free street parking. Then I headed to gear-check. I'd volunteered to do a middle shift, between drop-off and pick-up, to organize the dropped bags in numerical order. I was working with a nice little group of volunteers, including a large group of women from Black Girls Run, who combined cheering their friends on with volunteering. I think it's pretty neat for a running club to volunteer at an event as a group!
Once I was done organizing, the half-marathon was starting to finish. I walked to the finish just in time to see the women; second and fourth place were girls I know (one of whom moved away last year, so it was fun to catch up!). I stayed around the finish area until the men started coming in from the marathon - 2:27 something, NICE - then headed to mile 25 to spectate. Mile 25 is actually at the very top of a "hill" (ok, overpass. There aren't any hills), so I went to the bottom - maybe 24.7? to cheer. It was kind of funny to hear what people said as they rounded the corner and saw the looming overpass. Not very many were happy about it.
We'd agreed to leave by 12, so I didn't do much hanging around at the finish fest (even though I'm sure it was as good as it usually is). But I was out long enough to burn my lips to a crisp - the only place I forgot to use sunscreen.
It was fun to see my friends and celebrate their successes (one friend ran his second marathon after bone marrow transplant, and is mailing his doctor his medal; another ran a 3:20 - a huge PR for her - and was tenth female). And it was fun to volunteer: I need to give back to the running community more. But next year, I want to be running this one! 


  1. A girl from New York ran the half and she said it was a great race! Maybe I'll put it on my radar for next year...

    That spectator girl sounds weird......I wouldn't ramble about my life issues to a random stranger!

  2. A friend of mine from my running club ran this and his wife ran the 1/2 and they said it was a great race. My friend actually took 2nd in the Clydesdale class with a time of like 3:40, I think? So he was pretty excited about that.

  3. I think I've told you this before, but the LA capitol bldg looks like the Nebraska capitol building. I wrote a post about Black Girls Run a couple of years ago - I love that group! It's great that you were able to help out. Sounds like you have some speedy friends. Gotta go fill up my store of life, although it's really more a small shoppe.

  4. Sounds like a fun morning. I always enjoy watching my friends compete and sharing in their achievements.
    Had to laugh at the overpass bit - I can imagine there was some very unhappy campers having to run up that on weary legs.