I learned from my own NYC Marathon finish in 2014, that the volunteers are a special breed of human. From a runner’s perspective, NYC Marathon volunteers, wear official jackets, along with unofficial halos. They take the time to look you in the eye, grant your every wish (mostly), restore your anxiety to a sense of calm, listen to you as if you were the most important person amongst a sea of thousands, and let you know that no matter how much pain you are in, everything will be all right. These are the volunteers that make up an army of 12,000 to support the 50,000 runners on NYC marathon Sunday. I wanted to be a part of that army of angels – or at least try.
I arrived at my designated location on 33 Central Park West to sign in for my shift. Our shift was from 10AM to 6PM. I was assigned to “Zone 3” in the NYC marathon finish area. Zone 3 is a location 5 city blocks past the actual finish line. When you run the NYC marathon you are not actually finished when you complete 26.2 miles. That’s just part one. Part two is the additional mile walk that all runners must endure. It is the longest mile you can imagine, and your body has only one thought. It want’s to shut down. But no, you must keep walking. Continue reading