Warning: this post will be more pictures than words.. Hopefully the pictures will tell the story.
Race day arrived after two days of expo fun. Since I wasn’t running, I was asked if I wanted to volunteer at the ambassador/pacer tent. I responded yes without hesitation. Like I said before, it was the least I could do to give back to something that has given me more than I ever could ever imagine. Honestly, I felt a little sad that I wasn’t toeing the line with everyone else.. The day was for my runner friends and I wanted to celebrate. It was an early start. I arrived at the tent around 345 am to help another ambassador and co-captain, Heather. We set up the supplies, cut up some bananas and tracked down some much needed coffee.
The tent was shared with pacers for the race. My twitter buddy Eileen Joy was pacing the 2:30 1st Half so I got to snap a picture with her finally! Mind my closed eyes! Way too early..
Other ambassadors started coming in around 5 am. Though I wasn’t racing, I could feel the energy, excitment and nerves that everyone was feeling. Before I knew, it was time to start. Below are photos before everyone made their ways into the corrals.
As the race began to start, we cheered on many people as they passed. We called out random people’s names on their bibs. Some people looked confused on how we knew their name and others just smiled. I high-fived anyone who would take it. I also got good luck hugs from Taylor and Bruce as they passed..
After all the waves have gone, a little tiding and organizing the tent. With the down time, we walked to the finish line. We were able to see the elite runners cross the line. By this time, the sun was shining bright and it looked like it was going to be warmer than expected. After some spectating, we made are way back to the tent. Little by little pacers from the first half came back. Soon after, ambassadors started to come back. I remember giving sweating hugs and high fives to Erin, Wes and Paulette. One by one they all started coming back. So many running stories shared among everyone. I was also able to see my buddy May come back!
So much awesome going on that it is hard to sum up TSFM experience whether you are racing or volunteering. Either way, I believe the race is a celebration of running and the community. Through this year, I have met people who have shared their running and life stories with me. I am honored to be a part of their journey. Volunteering and cheering last week was the last piece to mend my heart from not running after my health scare in Napa. Seeing people give it their best in pursuit of a BQ, PR or running in honor of a loved one was inspiring and brought me to tears as I drove back home. The memories and friendships I have made will never be forgotten.
All I can say is thank you TSFM and 2014 ambassadors for allowing me to be part of the experience. See you next year!