I slept fast on Friday night so I could be back at McAlpine early on Saturday morning. The grunt work was over and now, the main event was about to start.
They put me on timing and later working the finish chute area.
Being a timer is a tough job. Ok, as the first few runners arrive it isn’t bad. But suddenly there are 8, 10, 15 runners all crossing the finish line at once. Keeping up with the count is hard. It is amazing that once they compare the total number of bibs pulled with the actual number of times recorded, just how close they really are.
Of course working the finish line chute is an entirely different experience. I am right in the middle of the action. Guys and ladies are coming in bunches. Our job is to keep them moving and to help those who can’t. I saw runners throwing up, runners weaving from side to side, runners falling down. Heck, I even saw runners crying as they crossed the finish line.
One runner, I held around the shoulders as I helped him to the medical tent. He told me that he couldn’t feel his legs. It is hard not laugh because I can empathize with him. Just as remarkable, 10 minutes later he was walking around as if nothing had happen.
Then, once the last runner crossed the finish line, it was time to clean up. All the hours that we spent putting up fencing, banners, flags, tents, etc, it all had to come down and packed up to be stored away.
The races were over a little after 1 and by 4 we were putting the last of the stuff away. It was like a sprint getting it all taken down. Tom was so tied that he was bent over looking at the ground. At first thought, I wondered if he lost something on the ground.
All of these guys and ladies put in a yeomen’s effort to make this happen. I was just fortunate that they allowed me to share in their experience.
I am already looking forward to helping next year.
The Cool Down Runner