Ottawa Race Weekend – A Volunteer’s Perspective

21 Jun

I have been traveling the past few weeks so didn’t get a chance to put up this post on Volunteering at the Ottawa Race Weekend so here it is….

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On May 25th, I volunteered at the Ottawa Marathon again this year. Just like last year, it was a great experience. I picked up the t-shirt shown above at the Race Weekend Expo. I love large race expos even if I am not running in the races. So many things to see (and buy!)

This year I didn’t take part in any of the races, but over 48,000 did and it made for a really exciting weekend in Ottawa!

In an effort to remain involved with the event, I decided to sign up as a volunteer once again. I wanted to be at the finish line and hand out medals to the half and full marathon runners.

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The day started early, being downtown at about 6:30am but the weather was absolutely gorgeous for volunteers and spectators (wayyy too hot for runners and it showed out of the course).

I had invited a friend of mine to volunteer this year and so got to enjoy some time catching up in the midst of all of the race frenzy. Once we had the medals all prepped, some of us were able to move up to the finish line to watch the elites finish. It was more than impressive to watch these men and women cross the finish line.

I even got to experience the finish of the fastest marathon ever run on Canadian soil (and somehow got a photo at the exact finish time: 2:08:54)

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I handed out medals to thousands of people for about 7 hours that day (including a handful of people that I knew!) and noticed that as time went on the reactions of the finishers changed. The longer that each finisher was out there, the more emotional they seemed to have been. It was touching to see the reactions of some runners and the sense of accomplishment that each of them felt.

I stuck around until the very end to see the final finisher. The race organizers very thoughtfully were ready with a bouquet of flowers for that final finisher and she graciously accepted them and was so happy to have made it through her race.

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Overall, it was a wonderful day. I love volunteering at this event, it is one of the biggest running events in Canada, how could I not take part in it?!

A little evidence of how lovely a day it was – this is what my sun burnt nose looked like at the end of the day!

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I’ll definitely be back next year at the Ottawa Race Weekend – running or volunteering!

M.

 

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3 Responses to “Ottawa Race Weekend – A Volunteer’s Perspective”

  1. Imarunner2012 June 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    A friend ran the marathon last year and said it was great. It looks like the entire weekend and city are consumed by running and runners that weekend. So cool.
    I love the flowers for the last person to finish. A classy touch and she deserved them. For the folks who finish over 5 hours I’m sure it is emotional. I did it once and know the pain and agony they have to fight through. Those people were transformed by that experience. It can be profound.
    Andy

  2. carmyy June 25, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    I hope your nose has recovered by now! I’m hoping to do Ottawa next year and I’m hoping the shirts look just as cute next year 😉

    • Mary June 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Nose fully recovered Carmy – thanks!
      You should definitely run Ottawa Race Weekend next year – definitely one of the most exciting races around (any distance!)

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