Scenes from a Marathon

May 7, 2009

Remember back in February when I posted about getting a pair of fancy new shoes?  The store that provided the shoe clinic and gave us the discount also sponsored the Tacoma Marathon this past Sunday.  As a Team in Training participant, I received an email asking if I’d be willing to volunteer.

I signed up, partly to give something back to the store that had treated us so well and partly because I had never been to a marathon before.  When I got there, I was placed right in the middle of the stream of runners approaching the finish line.  I had to direct the people running a half marathon to the left and the full marathoners to the right.  It was a great assignment; I felt useful and I witnessed some terrific moments.

  • As a man came into sight, a toddler broke away from the spectators and started running towards him.  The runner opened his arms wide and scooped the child up, finishing the race with the child in his arms.
  • Two runners crossed the line slowly, one with a bandaged knee limping and leaning on the shoulder of another runner (who must have given up trying for a good time to help.)
  • A 79 year-old man finishing his 400th marathon!  They gave him the race number 400 to commemorate it.
  • Two teenagers stood on the sidelines.  One had a t-shirt that read “I (Heart) Mom.”  The other one had a shirt that read “I (Heart) Dad.”
  • A couple crossed the line holding hands.
  • A group of small children stood at the edge of the crowd holding signs for a woman that I think was their grandmother.  Most of them said things like, “You Can Do It!” or “We are Proud of You!”  The smallest girl; however, held a sign that read, “You’re Crazy!”
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