Watching and learning

run2Watching runners. Is it ever worth your time? I think so, but I’m biased and I get that many—perhaps most—people wouldn’t choose to spend a Saturday morning doing so.

Still, the Sean O’Brien 50M/50K/26K in the Santa Monica Mountains was an amazing event and I was honored to support the runners in a small way. I’m not yet able to really run or compete. And so I figured volunteering at an aid station for the year’s first real trail race in Southern California would be a blast. As it was. We set up early on the cool parking lot at the Bonsall trail head, with a group of feisty Trail Runners from the club I joined last year. Water, sports drink, sandwiches, fruit, nuts, potato chips: we were well stocked.

I walked up the trail a ways, to ring a cow bell every time a runner would pass. The goal: cheer up runners at this 23M point, and warn my fellow volunteers of incoming runners.

It was a joy. From the fastest guys and women to the slower, cheerful, exhausted and/or chipper runners: they inspired me. run1I wanted to run so bad! So, yes, I jogged a little, but mostly I talked and yelled as these people tested themselves, simply and courageously on those very dry mountain trails.

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