Monday, October 15, 2012

Voluncheering at the Chicago Marathon

We got the awesome Nike jacket & hat for volunteering!
This is how our day started the morning of the Chicago Marathon (10/7/12). Up and out by 4:30am to check in for our volunteering duties at Aid Station #7 in Old Town - Mile 10.5 along the route.

 Others would wake up to find their car not where they left it the night before.  The tow trucks were busy clearing the streets for the runners and there were lots of cars to move! I guess they didn't see  the zillion signs telling them not to park there.

We were assigned to the first table of the station and had to prepare four stacked layers of Gatorade.

Gatorade table crew

By the time we finished, the sun had risen, but not the temperature.  It was a chilly day!

 We anxiously awaited the elite runners.  Fifty minutes after the start they were hitting mile 10.5. They were right behind the pace truck!

None of them grabbed any Gatorade, but our station was a long one and they may have grabbed something later down the line. 


Once the runners started to pass, they did not stop!  I think 40,000 in all, but there was one runner in particular we were there to support - my daughter Cate
This was her first marathon and she was looking strong when she passed our station!

Being the first table in the station, our drinks were first to go, so within an hour of the first runner, we had given them all out. We had front row spots to see all the action of the race and it was a great experience! The time flew by and before we knew it, our shift was over.

We traveled to Chicago to spend the weekend with Cate and cheer her on during the race. Volunteering was a last minute decision, but it made the day even better.   Everyone we worked with was so nice, (most of them runners) and they do this year after year.  This most likely will be a one time event for us, since we don't live in Chicago, but I would recommend it to anyone nearby.

Elvis entertaining the runners along the route

We consulted the map to see where we could catch up with her again and headed to mile 21 and Chinatown, a part of Chicago I have never been to.  We got there well ahead of her, but found a great spot on the sidewalk to watch the runners and wait for her to pass.

While waiting, this piece of bacon ran by and then in the distance we saw her!  She looked great, running strong and steady not even looking tired!

We gave her encouragement to keep it up for the last 5 miles and hopped back on the train to head to the finish line.

Cate crossed the finish with a PR and a sense of satisfaction.  I am so proud of her!! This was quite a moment to see my daughter accomplish such a feat after all the hard work and training she put into it!
That same day, she even considered the thought of running another!

Our day at the marathon was long and cold and fabulous!!


  1. Volunteering at a race looks like such a great experience and it must be interesting to see the race from the other side! I hope to volunteer at some in my area this spring.

  2. Thank you so much for coming up here to support me for my first marathon! It was great to see you guys along the course. <3


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