I got involved with this race for lots of reasons last year, and took it on again this year.
I am drawn to this race. It is very grass roots. I think mostly I like it because there aren’t really any rules in the organizing group. Everyone in the organizing committee and volunteer group get to find the part of the race that fits them. No one asks you to do anything you don’t want to do (or at least they know how to get you to do what they want you to, and make it so you are really happy about it).
A couple months ago, I sent an email to the org that said I’d like to start a facebook page for the race.
...was the answer. So I did. Now, I am sure I got more out of the page than they did. I say that because I loved watching the online Harvest Half race community grow, all the while I was meeting more amazing running people, who I had the pleasure of meeting today! It was great to meet all of you! The last few days were pretty cool to see runner take a degree of ownership of the page. It was their place to go to feel like a part of this race, to get information, and to talk about achievements, fears and ambitions! Race day, today, has been a blast. So much race love!
I have a bit of a confession. I kind of purposefully avoided the volunteer table, because I didn’t want to be assigned a marshalling position. It’s not that I wasn’t willing, or wouldn’t have been happy out there, it’s just that I wanted to hang around HQ for the day. Just like I love to soak up the race atmosphere when I run races, I wanted to experience the same thing from the organizational side of things.
Mission accomplished. I was even able to make myself useful, while staying at the start finish line and seeing how it all works. I made friends with the finish line photographer, the timing crew, the title sponsor people and many of the other volunteers. I was able to help dismantle the race packages of the folks who didn’t show up to race (have you ever done that? Bought a bib, then just never showed?). I know there are plenty of people who would have taken their place in a heartbeat, and I felt a bit bad that we couldn’t accommodate them.
Pause: Some housekeeping. Here are all the links with all the background on what this race is too me.
Ok, I'm back.
I got to see the start of the race. Wow, is that anticlimactic. Takes about 90 seconds and 800 runners are cheering and running. Then gone. Silence. Nothing.
Now what? Heh, I understood what happened in races, but it felt really strange. Oh well, thankfully there are really fast runners in this race.
The first runner came in in 1:22 I think. DFL came in in 3:37. DFL once again was freaking awesome. I have the pleasure of knowing the DFL’s from the last 3 events I volunteered at. DFL at the Calgary Marathon was Paul. Today he ran the half in 2:01. I am friends with the DFL at the Calgary 70.3, and I met and have enjoyed the conversation on facebook with DFL for this race!
For me, seeing these amazing people finish last with grace and style, it makes me scratch off a fear from my life. I always worried about stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing into a new level, for fear of failing. I equated failing with being last, or not being able to finish. I believe now that failing would be to never try. How on earth can I know what I can or can’t if I don’t try. And what else these amazing people teach me it that, no matter what, I CAN finish! Today’s DFL was worried we were going to close the course down on her, not that she wouldn’t finish. I have been involved in all of the DFL’s I speak of, in pretty important ways. DFL at the Calgary Marathon, I kicked off my shoes, and ran backwards down the course until found my bud and ran him in the last 800 meters. At the Calgary 70.3, I had a radio and a truck. I was on the radio, letting the org know where run buddy was, and I delivered her friend to her in the truck so she could run her in! At this race, I assured her on facebook that we would have the timing mats down for her when she arrived.
I am a pretty lucky guy. I had a bud ask why all my friends are the ones finishing last. I replied, I know a lot of people in the running world. That’s what the running world is all about for me. The people.
It’s the people that do it for me. It takes a certain type of person to be a runner. An honest type of person. I always say that running exposes you. You can’t lie about your abilities and then fake it on the run. So the people who run, start with a degree of vulnerability that translates into honesty and open conversation.
Anyway, I am rambling. It has been many days and weeks since I have really written anything down here of substance.
People asked me why I wasn’t running this, my favourite race. I told them I wasn’t trained. That is true, but the real truth is I am pretty embarrassed with how I have let myself go over the past year. I just couldn’t bring myself to run the race in the ‘condition’ I am in. It would be like running a lie.
I like the fact the running world accepts me anyway.
I like the fact that I can still be important to a race like this, that I can make a difference for someone, maybe help them have a good, possibly great day. I put in a solid effort today, trying to be the best I could be to anyone who needed my effort. I think I did ok.
I am in the poor physical shape I am in for lots of reasons. Lots of reasons that are sloooowly going away. I may write about them one day.
At next years race I will race it, a healthier, happier me. I will still give myself to the race, but I will also take from the race. I will take from the race a measuring stick. One that will give me a benchmark. I have my benchmark now, from this year, so I can now measure accurately.
I may lean on some of you though, so be warned. I may ask you how you did it, what you are doing an d who you are doing it with (stop it) The last time I did it, it was on a diet plan. I don’t want to go on a diet plan. I want to eat less and exercise more. But I need specifics. Especially about the food.
So, well. That was a different race report. Ok. Bye.