Monday, April 28, 2008

Something to be said for Community Spirit

Yesterday was the 7th annual Hartwell Challenge in Aurora. It's a small local event, with only about 400 participants overall, but a whole lot of spirit! I decided to volunteer because most of my friends from the Newmarket Running Room were running.

It was so much fun! I was stationed as a course marshall around the 7KM mark right at the top of a long, gradual hill (lots of red faces). We had several runners thank us for the enthusiasm and one told us that we "make all the difference." That was good to hear. From my own experience, I know that the support from race volunteers does make all the difference, so it was a good feeling to be on the other side this time. The best part is, because we were stationed so early in the race, we were able to make it back to the finish line in time to cheer everyone in.

It was a very well-organized event with tons of local support (sponsors, volunteers, police) and they finished off with a pancake breakfast in the cafeteria of my old high school. The atmosphere at Hartwell was definitely a big change from the Scotiabank and Chilly Half, both having thousands of runners. I love all of the hurrah and hooplah that comes with a big city race, but I have a new appreciation for small-town events.

Next year, I'll be running Hartwell. Who wants to volunteer?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you for volunteering. It is great for all runner to do this at least once or twice as it really makes you appreciate the volunteers on the course. Great pic, you look like you are having a blast!