I mentioned in my last few posts that I was going to write more about being EMCEE for the Sister's Happy Girl Trail Half Marathon and 5k last weekend. As is typical when you postpone writing about something, it becomes less fresh in your mind! So, bullet points it is!
- When Lay It Out Events asked if I wanted to be the EMCEE for this event, my first instincts were to run the other way. Why? Well, the idea of being on the other side of the finish line with a microphone in my hand sounded scary! I've always RACED the races. Being the voice behind that microphone was unfamiliar territory.
- My next thoughts after deciding not to run the other way and give an automatic "NO!" was to think about how I'd actually like this role if I could just get over the initial nerves. After all, I was a teacher for ten years and public speaking has always been something I can do just fine. I also thought of how saying "YES!" opens doors to new things in life. So, yes yes it was.
- I still felt nervous. I admit, I thought several times about how I could get out of it (not seriously...I knew I'd go through with it). I just kept telling myself what the awesome race organizers kept telling me: "You're just a voice! Just stick to the script until you get comfortable and you're good to go!"
- Before leaving for the race, I woke up to have coffee while watching the NYC Marathon! Such inspiration watching this marathon! I was bummed to have to leave before the race was done. But my friend kept me updated with texts about how my friend Marci (her race report here: Runner Marci: NYC Marathon) was doing so I still felt like I was part of the action.
|Driving into Sisters, Oregon (20ish minutes from Bend) never gets old!|
- I took my nine year old daughter with me. She's such a source of strength and comfort in my life! She knew I was nervous but promised not to tell anyone. Ha! Just having her on my lap during my first greetings and getting the racers on the starting line was SO NICE! After about thirty minutes, she was out running around and finding ways to volunteer. She ended up being one of the kids to hand out finishing medals. Really cool to see. She kept running over to me to get a turn cheering the runners on and to whisper in my ear, "You're doing a good job Mama!"
|My little wanna be EMCEE. She actually did a great job with the little parts she did do! She was great at adjusting the music and volume controls!|
- I kept noticing finishers with a yellow shirt that said Lotus Girls on the back and Powered by Ellie on the front. Such a huge group! I had to know their story so I asked someone to come tell me. They were a group of friends there to run in honor of their friend Ellie Booher who died this past spring and had raced this race last year. Such a touching story. Ellie's husband and two sons were there too. Her youngest son (age 5) was one of the kids handing out medals to the finishing women. Reading about Ellie and seeing these women there to celebrate her and run in her honor tells me she was an incredible woman! Makes me wish I would have known her.
|Ellie's son (see story above) handing out medals. So touching.|
- One of the things I was MOST inspired and energized by was how many kids who were running with their mom to the finish line! So sweet!
Here are some reflections from this experience:
- Doing things that scare you is empowering!
- Every experience is another door that opens to new opportunities.
- It was so awesome to be part of this event. Such a great way to get connected with the running community here in Central Oregon!
- Every name read...every woman crossing that finish line...there was a story behind it!
- The time flew! All 4 hours of announcing half marathon finishers was energizing.
- I saw the start and finish line from a different perspective. The time on the clock meant nothing compared to the PERSON...the woman finishing that race. Mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, friends! Such beautiful smiles with each finish. It was truly an honor to be announcing their name and cheering for them as they ran down that last stretch!
- One woman came up to me before she left and introduced herself as a blog reader/friend. I recognized her name right away and was so glad she took the time to say hello! she was here all the way from MN too!
- I think I've always just raced without giving much thought to all that goes into a race: organization, course, medals, food, music, announcers, etc. I do notice these things but not like I will now. I saw much of the behind the scenes stuff that goes into making these events great. And I must say, Lay It Out Events puts on a great event!
- If you would have asked me even a month ago about my opinions about races, I probably would have said races are for racing and less about a social experience. However, after this experience, I see that for many, a race like this is about so much more than "racing"...it's an experience..a memory...time with a friend or family member...in honor of...a statement or lesson...an adventure... Racing isn't the same for everyone and that's OK! I think that's one of the things that makes running such a great sport! It's different for all of us!
- I'm so glad I took my daughter with me. And more importantly, that she wanted to go. I think she was inspired and empowered too! At the very end of the race when finishers were coming in at 3-4 plus hours, she was still there with a huge smile on her face, excited to cheer those women in and give them their medals.
- I love the running community here in Bend! After this race, I am more motivated than ever to get more involved...with running groups, volunteering at races, offering support through my blog, etc. Oh, and...um....RACING!!
Have you had an "on the other side of the finish/start line" experience that gave you a new perspective at a race? Maybe you were a volunteer or even there to support a group running for a cause?