Putting the Fun in February

All right, this isn’t going to be easy. February is like November, only bleaker, colder, and without Thanksgiving. And it’s peak training month for those with spring marathons, which includes yours truly. And yet, it’s been a pretty good month so far. Bear with me.

For the first time in a month, I didn’t have a race this weekend. So I could just do my long run this morning and then rest up until Monday. Of course that meant I had an 18-mile run this morning with temps near zero and no excuses to skip it. Thank goodness for hand warmers.

Antarctica. Or North Campus this morning.
Antarctica. Or North Campus this morning.

Last week’s event was the Super (Bowl) 5K in Novi. The idea is to burn a couple hundred calories in the morning so you can consume a few thousand calories during the game that evening. Which is sort of what happened, except that I was playing Dungeons & Dragons instead. Yes, believe it or not, five men (and one token woman) were slaying ogres rather than watching the Super Bowl. Don’t tell the Men’s Union.

Making the world safe from monsters!
Keeping the world safe from monsters!

I’d planned to run the Super 5K, which I’ve done for the past six years. But about a week out I decided I felt like volunteering instead, and signed up to be a Race Ambassador. I didn’t know that was, exactly, but it sounded cool.

Turned out I was to be a roving course marshall. Instead of standing in one spot on the course sending people the wrong way, I was covering the entire course on my bike, assisting the stationary marshalls and helping mess up everybody.

Does it look like I know what I'm doing? Zat was your last mistake, Monsieur!
Does it look like I know what I’m doing? Zat was your last mistake, Monsieur!

“Your job,” the head marshall told us ambassadors, “is to represent us (the events company) out there.” This meant talking with drivers we had to hold back while 1,800 runners passed by, then escorting them to an exit or to their houses once the runners had thinned out.

It turned out to be a lot of fun. The drivers I spoke with were understanding, once I explained what was going on. And in one instance, I helped a guy trying to get his son to baseball practice on time by giving him an escort out of the course. The best part was that by keeping in motion, I stayed warm. “I wish I had your job,” one of the other marshalls told me.

Also this week, I made progress on some very exciting (to me) initiatives regarding waste reduction at our local running events this year. Nothing finalized yet, but we’re off to a good start. You can bet I will be sharing details later. Watch this space!

3 thoughts on “Putting the Fun in February

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