I'll occasionally work behind the scenes at a race to make a little but of extra cash. I wouldn't do it for free, but I also enjoy the adrenaline that comes with these races. I ran all through high school, and although I don't run races as much as I used to, I still get excited when other people do them.
This past weekend I worked with the elite fluids for the Chicago Marathon. All the elite athletes mix their Gatorades and electrolyte drinks the day before and bring them to us to set out every few miles on the course. It was easy work, and also interesting to see a little bit of how much goes into organizing a race with 40,000 runners. Of course the elite fluids had to be on the course before the everyone started running, so our work day was done by the race start at 7:30 a.m. Then we had front-row seats to watch the marathon start.
There are so many runners in this race that it take about 30 minutes for all of them to cross the start. That's a whole lotta adrenaline and excitement, and I decided that I absolutely had no choice but to run the marathon next year.
I've done three marathons since I was 18, roughly one every two or three years. My last one was in 2009. Every time I run one, I tell myself I'm never going to do it again. And then I do. It doesn't make sense, but it does. I don't feel like explaining it.
I always tell people that running the marathon is the easy part. Once you get to the starting line, you've already (or should have) done the hard work in training for the race. The race isn't easy, but it's easier than the 4 months you've spent training for it. Anyway, I won't bore y'all with marathon talk. It's a weird weird cult. But just know. I'm doing it.