Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Living United at Tour de Cure

Sweat, spit, and smiles. Not my typical Saturday. Well, except for the smiles. This Saturday I volunteered at the Live United rest stop on the half marathon course for Tour de Cure.

This was the sixth year the American Diabetes Association held the event. There were two athletic options. There was a bike race that went up to 100 miles and the half marathon run.

I had never been a water distributor on a half marathon. But I know if I was running 13.1 miles the water person would be the second most important person, right behind the medical team resuscitating me from exhaustion.

The enthusiasm from the runners was contagious.

We saw the first two runners turn the corner, then a pack right behind them. My heart started pounding and I scurried to grab a water cup.

“Hold the cup at the top,” the coordinator had told me.

I stood at the edge of the road and held my arm out like a diving board. The runner approached, turned his head, spit, and snatched the cup. Zoom. He was gone.

After I got over the shock of a moving person spitting in my direction, I was ready again.

Students and faculty from Bentonville Public Schools were there to help hydrate and cheer on hundreds of runners.

“Keep it up!” they shouted, “Lookin’ good!”

Before we knew it, another wave was coming.

“Here they come!” a student warned.

I moved to my spot again. Eight arms stuck out over the road and waited. Zoom. Gone in a blink.

“Thanks for picking up our trash!” A runner gasped.

Cheering on a runner, providing water and picking up trash are a few of my favorite ways to Live United. I feel good when I lend my hand. Try it this week. I bet it will make your day.

I would like to give a special thanks to Jonathon Guthrie and the other volunteers from the Bentonville Public Schools for volunteering at Tour de Cure. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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