Sunday was my first time volunteering for a race and it was such a great experience! I signed up for medal distribution from 7-11 am and arrived at the volunteer check-in about 6:30.
Before making our way to medal distribution, we helped unpack some bananas and get cups ready with powerade. Then it was time to get cozy with some medals! Alicia was volunteering too, so we had a great time!
On the left are the half marathon medals and on the right are the full marathon medals. I thought they were super medals — the guitar even spins on the medals.
While we were getting the medals ready, the top 10k-ers started to finish! On the left is the male winner, Kumsa Adugna, who finished in 29:48. On the right is the female winner, Everlyne Lagat, who finished in 34:00. Ignore the time above Everlyne’s head, that is the clock for the half marathoners.
Next, it was time to get medals ready on our arms for the half marathoners.
Then, before we knew it, the half marathoners were coming through! On the left is the male winner, David Keenan, who finished in 1:10:27. On the right is the female winner, Marian Pyles, who finished in 1:21:11.
It was a steady stream of half marathon finishers from this point on. We even got to switch to handing out marathon medals eventually. I can’t tell who how much fun it was seeing the different emotions from each finisher. This video from Cleveland.com shows my emotion when seeing my mother-in-law finish. Our clip is toward the end of the video after you see the nuns walking. She finished in 2:22:11 — about a 4 minute PR for her!
Our volunteer experience was also captured by fox8.com with this picture. Yes, I’m sticking my tongue out.
I didn’t get to take a photo of the top male and female marathoners, but just know that seeing them finish was an amazing experience. R.P. White was the winner for the males, with a time of 2:26:59. Nicole Camp was the winner for the females, with a time of 2:43:47. They interviewed Nicole’s mom leading up to her finish and we learned they are from Ohio and that Nicole is training for the 2012 Olympics. Wow!
After our shift was over, Alicia and I enjoyed part of the VIP breakfast. She was an official blogger of the Cleveland marathon, so it was nice to warm up and enjoy some food before heading home.
Before heading home, we took some photos at the Brown’s stadium. The stadium was opening before, during, and after the race — so it was a nice experience for the runners and volunteers. However, it sounds like people definitely had different opinions about their bathroom experience at the stadium.
My first race volunteering experience is in the books and I can’t wait to volunteer again!
Have you ever volunteered at a race?
Did you run one of the Cleveland Marathon races? What did you think?