If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been totally smitten with my volunteering morning at the Mini 10K.
Some history, the Mini 10K is the longest all-female race in the USA, this weekend’s being the 45th running of the race. What made it extra special, is that it was also the first ever running of the Girls Race.
A 5:00AM wake up call aren’t all too unfamiliar for runners, but it’s a mental game when you don’t have a countdown to the finish line. I was up and at ’em and on my way to the Volunteer Check-in by 5:45AM. #BLESSED AF to be living less than a block from the race, so it only took me a few minutes to be ready to roll.
Volunteering for NYRR is a treat. The organization is a well oiled machine, and the process made my Type A personality beam with pride.
I was sent to work on the starting line for the Girls Race. There were three age groups rather than corrals, 7-10 yos, 11-13yos, 14-18yos. I was in charge of corralling the 11-13 year olds, who were bundles of joy. It was so sweet to hear their questions
- “How will I know where to go?”
- Oh, you’ll know.
- “Will we have water stops?”
- “How do I drink water and run at the same time?”
- Hold the cup like a taco! Or walk through the water stop and drink like a human.
- “Will you braid my hair like yours?”
- I would, but I’m holding a big pole.
The coolest was that Molly Huddle, who recently announced she would be running the TSCNYC Marathon made a speech and ran the race with the girls! I’m pretty sure I was 100x more fan-girling than they were.
After the girls took off, I was assigned to the finish line. Seeing the little athletes cross the finish line was adorable, but also, FUNNY. Their 2.25mi course was definitely not for the weary – there was a significant hill and another at the top of the finish line. All the finishers had a serious “WTF was that?” (which they’ll experience a lot as runners) looks which quickly switched to hearts in the eyes emoji when we gave them their medals.
After the final girl crossed the finish, we were warned that the top finisher for the women’s race was turning the last bend of the race. Homegirl crossed the finish line with only a few cents change past 30 minutes. So, do the math.
About 25 minutes later a huge wave of women began breathlessly crossing that pink adorned finish line.
Huge highlight for me was draping the finisher medal on my BFFL, and picking out familiar Insta-famous runners in the masses.
Not a minute after a prompt dismissal, I jetted to get a bagel, and get in bed to snooze.
Volunteering is definitely an underrated part of the New York running community. I would have never taken this opportunity to volunteer if I wasn’t mandated to by the 9+1 NYRR Gods, but I am so, so happy I did.
It takes a village, and army and some fanatics to pull off these huge events, and it was nothing short of a gift to be able to part of it!