I was supposed to be running my 13th marathon today.
Instead, I volunteered for my 1st marathon.
And volunteering for Twin Cities Marathon was a great experience. Every marathon runner should have to volunteer for a marathon. It gives you a different perspective. Not just on the magnitude of planning and detail that goes in to a marathon – because I do think that most marathon runners already know and appreciate that. The word that I’d used to describe how volunteering for Twin Cities Marathon made me feel is connected. I felt connected to complete strangers who had just finished their first major race. I felt connected to my fellow volunteers, who told me their stories of who they were supporting/watching today in the marathon (one lady’s daughter was from Omaha and running her first marathon with her boyfriend, with a goal of under 5:00 – I looked her up, 4:58! Woot!). I felt connected to my fellow running friends, who stopped by the finish line info booth that I was staffing and chatted with me about their races. I felt connected to my past – today I saw runners finish their first marathon, saw runners BQ and saw runners limping down the last stretch of John Ireland Blvd toward the finish line with tears in their eyes – and for all of these people, I thought “been there, done that”. And this feeling of connection to the running community was SO necessary for me – on Day 91 of no running because of my stress fracture.
Lucky marathon #13 will come soon enough. And in the meantime, participating in the marathon in the way that I did today gave me the inspiration, motivation and hope that I needed to continue to heal.