Volunteering for 2017 TCS NYC Marathon

Let's run!

Well, try to run and jog, in my case.

I have been trying to find some exercise that I can regularly do and jogging  seems to be the best choice. I usually do it in the morning, while taking my Obi to her school. Then after a while, I feel confident to join a 5K again. Just like last year.

So, November is here and so is UN Run, or Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5 K.
Happy to join the run with the UN team, but this year I have something new.
I decided to volunteer for the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon.
Yuuuup! 

NYC Marathon.



The famous run in the city.
And probably in the world as well.
Thousands of people from all over the world joined this world-class marathon, hosted by the Big Apple. 
Since at least 70 thousand people participated, the organizer also needed many volunteers to ensure that this event was run smoothly.
Well, people might think that it was just a run, but having so many people, running for 26.2 miles for hours (at least 3 - 4 hours, except for the  winners :)), drop dead tired and still something simple like showing directions and distributing drinks or medals can be problematic. 

So, there I was. 
Joining the other volunteers to help the event a success.
My role is to stay at Finish Walk Off Zone 3.
At the very last part.

My credentials :)


As I quoted from NYRR.com, my spot will "Zone 3: Central Park-West Drive from 72nd - 77th St." And I will "direct over 50,000 runners to exits of Central Park. Congratulate marathoners, offer support, and cheer them on the way to their family and friends. Please note, this is a long shift that requires you to be standing up. Please register only if you can commit to completing the shift in its entirety."

cheers...

I have read all these requirements but I didn't really know what I signed up for LOL.
Well, it was my first time and I felt like I was ready for anything.
I was :).

So there I came down to the School for Ethical Culture at Central Park West.
So full of energy and super excited, I didn't read the announcement well and ended up walking along the closed zone for the marathon LOL.
Silly me!
But the good thing is, I managed to see and cheers the kids who were running for the marathon first!



After arriving at the School, I went directly to my designated class, where I meet my friends and make new friends, plus meeting our team leader Emil.
Emil has been volunteering for 35 years!
Yes, you heard me right, 35 years!
He is such a nice guy and he deserves to get that platinum medal.

Dear Emil..

Together with other leaders and coordinators, including Jeannelle,  Emil again explained  again what to do and what not to do.

cheers...

They explained further where we are going to be placed and what to expect, including some people suddenly collapsing in front of you or cursing you because they still have to walk a few miles after finishing the marathon.
This is important, because they need to ensure that the muscles and the legs shave enough 'cooling down' after running and jogging for such a long race. Otherwise, it will be dangerous!
This is a serious event and they have been doing it professionally.
I am again blessed to get the opportunity to be part of it. 




We were signed from 10.30 - 6 PM.
So at 10.30, we all went out of the School and walked along our zone, from 72nd to 79th street at Central Park West.
There are a few spots along the way and I took the post-race poncho spot, who need persons with loud voice. That is so me :).

post race ponchos..stay on the left lane :)
So I was there.
Six to seven hours standing.
Cheering the marathoners who have been done tremendous jobs.
and don't forget, directing those who want to take their ponchos (those having the poncho wristband) and those who want to pick up their bags.
It might sound super simple but having thousands of super tired people swarming at the same time can be challenging. In the beginning, it was only a few runners, but from 2 - 5 PM, those are the peak time where we have marathoners coming.



with XY and  Jiamin, plus Keith, my new friends at the spot :)

Besides cheering and directing, I helped spotting those who need medical attention and calling the medical team to those who need it. I also, surprisingly, helped the marathoners open their water bottles or pretzels. I gave my after bottles to some marathoners as well and help  directing them to the family reunion zone based on their last name.
I can imagine how tired they were after running that long!.
I saw those who were shaking but firmly wanted to continue walking.
I witnessed those who got sooo emotional holding their medals or walking slowly, hand in hand with their loved ones.
I saw those cheerfully calling their family and told them that they were okay and they made it! I also heard those who got angry with their friends who couldn't get into the zone and had to wait at family reunion zone.
See.. it was quite an experience.

good job, people!

And I did it!
So proud to be one of the volunteers for this event.
Although I was only standing there till my legs were killing me (after running 5k and storming factory outlet the day before :p), screaming on top of my lungs to cheer them and eventually use the bull horn,  I was so emotional when I got my volunteer pin as the appreciation for what I have done that day!

yaaay..

Aren't we all the winners that day!

So, that's my story about volunteering at the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon.
Truly an experience of a life time!
Happy to do it again next year, although I am scheduled to go home this July.
Well, you never know...I might be around the area and be able to join the event again, right!

Stay healthy, everyone :)



 



7 comments:

  1. Seru acaranya ya. A successful event!

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful experience! I know the runners were so happy to have people cheering them on and getting them the help they needed before, during, and after the race. Thanks for all you did (even though I wasn't there)! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you...many of them express their appreciation for our helps as well. And it felt great!

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  3. How fun to be a volunteer! Such a great experience.

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  4. Way to go, Indah! I am sure your encouragement and help was much appreciated to all who take part in the marathon!

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