Sunday, June 3, 2012

On the first day of Ragnar....

So, you all know I'm a Ragnar Relay freakazoid. I mean, for me, the year has two Christmases: the one that happens in December that celebrates Jesus, and the one that happens in June that celebrates running and not sleeping. And since there are only 12 more days (12 more days!!!) until Ragnar, I thought it was only too appropriate that I do a countdown.

So, for the next 12 days, I'm going to celebrate the awesomeness that is Ragnar. And today, which is the first day of Ragnar, I'm going to celebrate volunteers. People who are willing and wanting to participate without actually running. This has got to be the hardest part of Ragnar - finding the required 3 volunteers. Everyone is busy, everyone has better stuff to be doing than picking up garbage and selling merchandise and pointing people in the direction they should be running. But, without volunteers, Ragnar wouldn't be possible. There are 37 different venues throughout the course. 37! Each has to be set up, taken down, and manned for 12ish hours.

Ragnar volunteers are wonderful. Amy had one help her with her safety vest last year on her night run. Shane once had one warn him of wild animals (as in "watch out for wild animals!") on the banks of Echo reservoir in the middle of the night. One of our volunteers from last year is on my team this year as a runner. They are usually happy, which doesn't make any sense because they are doing something that isn't very fun. But they know that someone out there on the course is their friend/cousin/neighbor/coworker and they want to help them out with their crazy Ragnar dreams.

Our volunteer experience this year has been challenging. Michelle, a friend in my ward declared herself a volunteer when she couldn't do the race - she has been wonderful and is happy as can be to help out. One of our volunteers from last year is manning up again and helping out at the starting line - thanks, Roger Loveless! But our third spot has been hard to fill. I had it filled by my visiting teacher, but then she couldn't do it. Amy's kids wanted to do it but they were going to be at youth conference. And another of my nieces was all set to go but got scheduled to work that day and couldn't get out of it. Luckily, the brother of my homey Dave (Dave who has been with me and Shane in our Ragnar van for 3 years running - I can't imagine Ragnar without Dave!!) got his brother to fill our last spot just tonight. What a relief.

It's amazing to have people willing to give their time. They are the ones who make Ragnar really great for the runners. I think their Ragnar experience is a lot harder than mine. I hope it's meaningful to them in the end, knowing that they helped thousands of people have an incredible experience, a Christmas in June, a sleep-deprived weekend of minivans scented with sweat, body glide, and baby wipes. Ah, you gotta love it.


Apryl said...

Yesterday was the Reno Tahoe Odyssey. I was driving down Plumb Lane watching girls run in sparkley silver skirts and thinking of you....