My 20 year old nephew Esteban and I had a great time volunteering at today's San Antonio Roadrunners' Fiesta Mission 10K run. Esteban was a little disappointed that we were assigned to the food table. He said he wanted to be where the action is. As it turned out, the food table WAS where the action is! We set up the goodies for the runners post race treats. Bananas, cookies, tacos and soda pop. Oh, there was beer too. It was fun meeting the folks in charge of our food station. They were all older, some would say elderly, ex-runners. Since this was the first time we'd met them they told of their previous running accomplishments. 31 Marathons, 22 and 11 Marathons. When I asked one of the ladies which was her most memorable marathon she said, "San Diego! I made it only to mile 22 and I couldn't continue. It was SO HOT!" Nice.
I saw and visited with an old friend too! I hadn't seen Roy Bogar in quite some time. Roy is the Asics rep for this area of south Texas and had set up shop displaying Asics' latest shoes.. You know you have a good friend when just a handshake won't do. A hug was in order. Roy told the story to those around us of when I showed up to a 205 mile relay race and forgot my shoes! Luckily Roy and I were ALMOST the same size. He loaned me a pair of shoes to run the race. Thank God he brought an extra pair! We were too far from home for I to go back.
There was a shortage of volunteers, so Esteban and I were relocated to the finish line area where we were given the duty of handing out water to the finishers. Now we were where the action really is. Watching the runners come in was exciting. We got to see the emotions written on peoples faces as they neared the finish and crossed the finish line. Some with smiles, others with grimaces or grunts. I was able to see and congratulate friends as they finished. The images that will stay with me longer, and what impressed me the most, were the looks of determination on the people who approached and crossed the finish line over an hour and a half after the front runners came in. Many of these runners were still pushing, working hard to finish strong. These are my heroes.
Esteban and I went back to our food table duty after all the runners came in.
We had a great start to our day.