Saturday, December 19, 2009

9 + 1

All I did was ask for Theresa, introduce myself, and say I was there to volunteer. I was at the New York Road Runners headquarters ready to fulfill the last requirement for guaranteed entry for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon. I ran all my races, now I was ready to volunteer.

The goal of qualifying for the marathon had come as a whim. It was something seemingly impossible to strive for. There was not a chance I’d be able to run nine races in one year without my body falling apart, but I thought the striving would be good for me and that was enough. At best, I’d get in better shape and learn how to run.

I was wrong.

At best I found friends and strength that helped me live this year better. I also found a body that wants to run, that keeps getting faster and enjoys the road. And I have found the best post-race brunch company. And bacon tastes even better after a race.

I got goose bumps and tears watching the marathon this year from mile 6, and I can’t even begin to imagine what training for and running the marathon next year will be like. I don’t even know if I can make it, but I know I have to give it a try.

I’m excited about it and because of that I was excited about the volunteering.

Theresa gave me an up and down look. “Daphne!” She called out. “This one’s got a personality. Put her as a greeter.”

And that’s how I got the spend part of the afternoon yesterday smiling at strangers and directing them upstairs to pick up their bibs. My spot was right by the store cash registers so I got to chat with Celeste who celebrated her 75th birthday last week. When I mentioned mine had been the previous day she opened up the drawer of the register and gave me a marathon pen.

It looks like the perfect pen to log my runs, don’t you think?

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