First, I do apologize for seemingly walking off the blog! End of summer enthusiasm dragged me away from the computer.

And, then there was the Oakville Half Marathon on Labour Day Monday that got many of us up, out of bed, and on our feet before the sun rose…but napping on the couch by 3pm!

Thank you, thank you, to the many people who came out to the water station. If you’ve been in a race, you know how it lifts spirits to get water and Gatorade from enthusiastic volunteers.

For all the races I’ve walked and finish line cheering I’ve done, this was the first time I helped at a water station. Not only was it fun, but it was a good learning experience.

Here is some of what I learned:

1. If the weather is bad on race day, it would be better to be a participant than a volunteer. On bad weather races, I will ALWAYS thank volunteers as I go by.

2. It is MUCH trickier than you think to keep the road beside the water station clean. I vow to try to put my used cups in waste containers when possible or, at the very least, throw them to the side of the road.

3. It is really helpful when a participant calls out a request. Something like “water!” or “Gatorade!” That way they can be directed to those volunteers offering the beverage of choice. Also, it makes for exceptional “flow-through”, if participants point to the volunteer from whom they are planning on grabbing a cup. I vow to shout “water” or “Gatorade” and point to the happiest looking volunteer.

4. Never wear your favorite clothes to help at a water station. There appears to be a strange gravitational field between clothing and Gatorade. Corollary: if you don’t like sticky clothes, hand out water.

5. Noisemakers are fun. Noisemakers that require only one hand to create the noise are the best: one hand for noisemaking, one hand for passing out cups. A megaphone would also be great! All the better to cheer you with my dear!

Looking forward to the fall race season!