This Guest Post comes from Brooke, our favorite Marathon Water Wench, who courageously gathered the CHRC Volunteer forces for action at this year’s NYC Marathon. Thank you to all our volunteers and to Brooke for heading this up!
4 Weeks Ago, Eighteen Noble Knights showed up at 6:30 am on November 1st to represent the CHRC by volunteering at the 2015 New York City Marathon. It was a momentous day. The majority of CHRC was stationed at the Mile 8 Barclays Center Hydration Station, looking HOT HOT HOT in our uniforms of voluminous green ponchos and itchy wool hats, handing out water and Gatorade until 2:30 pm.
Mile 8 was a great place to be stationed as the happy endorphins were kicking in and most of the runners who passed us were smiling, swept up in marathon euphoria.
We were a mere 2 knights shy of earning a guaranteed marathon entry for 2016, so we have a goal to aim for next year. Goals aside, it was a day of so much connection and jubilation. We Noble Knights spread the Good Word about CHRC, chatting it up with lots of runner volunteers who’d never heard of us before. The fun continued later that afternoon, with Good Lady Yael Elmatad hosting a potluck feast at her lovely manor house for all the volunteers and runners. Who knew a tofu-based chocolate mousse could be so scrumptious?! Thank you, Lady Yael, for that recipe, and for your warmth and hospitality.
Just days before I led CHRC’s group at Mile 8 as Ye Olde Marathon Water Wench, my boyfriend, who had cancer, told me that he was entering hospice care with his family in California. In the midst of so much sadness, it felt profound to have so much life–in all shapes, sizes, and paces–rushing toward me. It was wonderful to look all those lives in the eyes and smile. “Great smile!” one lovely 60-something woman called out. (She was clearly hitting on me.) The marathon seemed a metaphor for this big, beautiful, heartbreaking life we inhabit, and all the ways we find our way through it. I’d never had any desire to run a marathon before, but after volunteering, I did.
I’m cramming in the 3 races I need to make 9, and looking forward to training for those 26 miles with the CHRC community. Thanks to all you Noble Knights who volunteered and all the people who made the marathon possible and all the runners running toward me. You helped me to remember what it is to be alive.
Here’s to nabbing that guaranteed entry next year, and to 26 euphoric, grueling miles of life!
Volunteer Opportunities for the 2016 NYC Marathon are already accepting applications. Sign up today —>www.tcsnycmarathon.org/volunteers-for-2015/opportunities