Wednesday, May 18, 2011

[40] Volunteering at Wall Street

Volunteering? I thought someone said "Volun-BEER-ing"?! All kidding aside, I earned my Plus One this evening by hustling down to the Financial District to work as a Start/Finish Marshal at the American Heart Association's Start! Wall Street Run/Walk. After a couple of cooler, rainy days, I was a bit worried about having to stand in the rain for several hours without much movement. Thankfully, by the time I got to the World Financial Center's Winter Garden, I was greeting with a warm, cloudy sunset, a bright orange volunteering vest, emergency card, and free NYC Marathon Poncho (just in case)!

[Start/Finish Marshal]
If I fail professionally (and manage to finish my body transformation), I could always get a job as a ring girl for boxing. I was assigned to hold the sign at the base of the Runner's Corral, and direct people to the correct staging areas (walk or run), the bag drop, check-in (for the stragglers), and the porta-johns (which were blocked from view by a stupid Escalade). The wind gave my arms quite the workout, but I did my best to greet and direct. Commenting post-race on FB, I met someone who recognized me (largely due to my green Yankees cap and almost going airborne with the large sign)! I wish I could have found the person who actually took a picture of me. I didn't want to skimp on my duties by asking someone to take my photo.

My good deed for the evening was helping a distraught runner get her D-Tag onto her sneakers after the safety clip locked into place. It required creative lacing, but my rescue mission was a success. If I volunteer for the same position next time, I may take a baggie full of safety pins because a couple handfuls of runners left theirs at home (or managed to lose them in the two block walk to the staging area).

After the race started, we packed it in and headed to the finish line. I never realized how frustrating it can be to keep people moving through the finishing area. Even if you cheer them on and ask nicely, few people smiled, said thank you, or even did as they were instructed. Some random, out-of-towners who participated in the race asked to take a picture with me. I think it was the vest. Something about Safety Orange is rather sexy.

[Extra Credit?]
The following night, my volunteering confirmation popped up in my inbox. It's printed out and ready for the ole running file!

[2012 NYC Marathon 9+1 Progress]
One Race? Done!
One Volunteering? Done.
Run through September. Filed under "Unfinished Business".
Next up? Celebrate Israel Run on Sunday, June 5th in Central Park. Japan Run for Hope's revenge challenge.

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