I’m humbled.  I am struck by the enormity of organizing an event as large as the People's United Bank Vermont City Marathon.  I started reflecting on the number of people that are needed to successfully host an event of this magnitude, and the numbers quickly started spiraling out of control.  I knew from personal experience that just considering the medical team, the number of volunteers on race day is approximately 100 strong.  To keep everyone as healthy as possible, there are 12 MDs, 12 RNs, 35 EMTs, 30 Athletic Trainers, and other blood analysis lab staff available.  These medically trained personnel are located at 17 aid stations, three medical tents, and stationed along the actual course.  Knowing these numbers, I figured that the entire marathon would need something on the order of 1000 volunteers.  To put it bluntly, I was not even in the correct ballpark.  I checked with the The VCM Course has 20 of them!  But did you consider that there are jobs like:

  • Locals are needed to ride the shuttle bus, to answer questions from out-of-towners
  • Someone to greet the bus riders and welcome them to Battery Park
  • People at each of the local hotels to meet/greet the out of town runners
  • Someone to hang up banners at the waterfront
  • People are needed to handout bibs, verify bib chips, handle the race timing
  • People are needed to staff the food tent
  • People to handout thermal blankets and medals at the finish line
  • Bicycle riding race course monitors
  • People to distribute flyers to houses on the race course
  • And let’s not forget… crowd control, PA announcers, food vendors, you get the idea…
All of this, just to assure that I can be as successful as possible in running 26.2 miles.  Would you like to help out?  If so, check out the volunteer page on the air of shoes at the running store! My point, is that if each of the 3600 full marathon runners has 10 people to thank, and the RunVermont staff provides an additional 1,700 volunteers who assist on race day, there are 37,700 people making this race possible.  When you look at it this way, there are a lot of people who should receive credit for getting me to the starting line of the race.  Now the rest is up to me.  Less than two weeks until race day!

On a more personal training note, I can’t help but wonder what happened in my life to make my vocabulary change so radically.  I’m in my taper period and went out for a 12 mile run this weekend.  The weird part was that I kept telling people that “I only have to run 12 miles”.  When did 12 become an “only 12” situation? Very bizarre.  Earlier this week I stumbled across this quote, and it seems to fit the situation…

Until next week,

Greg

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