A few days ago, I decided to volunteer at a small marathon/half-marathon taking place in Legg Lake Park over in El Monte that a few friends would be running in. This was part of a series of smaller races put together by race director extraordinaire Charlie Alewine - very popular among people looking for smaller, intimate races - especially among Maniacs.
Last night, I went to a holiday party that I was only intending to make an appearance at and then come back early to get in a decent night's sleep to make the 6:30am start time. That was the plan anyway. One conversation after another along with a surprise drop-in by a dear friend I haven't seen in awhile, my head finally hit the pillow well after midnight (probably closer to 1am). Needless to say, when the alarm finally went off a little after 5am, I was NOT a happy camper.
I made the approximately 30 minute drive east towards the destination and greeted Charlie the RD, along with my compadres who would doing the relatively flat 2.2 mile loop for either the full or half distance. A little after gorgeous sunrise, the group began the race while I manned the one and only aid station along with Charlie and a fellow Maniac in Marina.
Responsibilities were minimal outside of making sure enough drinks were poured (water and Gatorade) so the 3 of us mostly shot the shit while we aided the 20 or so runners as they passed through.
Jeff downing fistfuls of liquid.
Marathon vet and maniac, Joe.
Rocco pacing his wife to a 7+ min half PR before proceeding on to finish the marathon.
Jeff displaying his 3rd place trophy for the half finishing in 1:49:XX.
I knew at some point, I wanted to get in about a 40 minute run per my recovery from stress fracture plan. So after getting the ok from Charlie, I took off with Rocco the next time he passed through for two loops, or approximately 4.4 miles around the park. We ran a very even and steady pace and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the rest of the beautiful park from the runners' vantage point.
Running with Rocco.
It was nice to break a little sweat. After finishing the loops, it was back to work at the station while snapping some shots of the marathoners as they finished.
1st finisher James coming in at 3:5X:XX getting his trophy from Charlie.
Marcia (aka "Vixen"), me, James, Emil, Renee and Jeff.
A pair of Maniacs.
A "guns to the head" finish for Rocco (running in with Renee).
After the race, a few of us decided to head over to a nearby restaurant for some post-race dim sum. Unfortunately, there was an hour+ wait to be seated, but our growing hunger was tempered by some good conversation.
Post-race dim sum!
All in all, a great day under the sun with some old (and new) running friends. Volunteering is always a great way to stay connected to the running community when you're injured and generally, just a great way to give back to this great sport of ours. Hope you all had a great weekend!