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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon & 10K 2010 (As a Volunteer)

I had a lot of friends running either the half marathon or 10K at the Zooma Annapolis run this year.  Several people asked me to run with them, but since I knew I'd be missing the 2 weeks of running group prior to the race, and since I didn't want to run twice in the same weekend, I chose to attend Zooma as a volunteer instead.

Runners at the start:

I worked the finish line.  While I'd hoped to be giving out necklaces (which they had instead of medals), I wasn't assigned that job and ended up working the Gatorade station instead.  After telling people "Gatorade!" a few times, though, we were informed that what we were giving out was Ultima and that we needed to call it Ultima.  Ooops!

For the record, Ultima lemonade flavor gets a solid "ok" from me.  It's not good, but I don't like Gatorade, so maybe I am not the best person to ask.  If I were at a race, I would drink it if I felt that I needed it, but I'm not going to buy any.  There were mixed reviews from the runners who drank it - some loved it and said they'll drink nothing else from now on, others threw it away after taking a sip.  Who knows.  What it seemed to me was that the half marathon folks liked the Ultima more, but I think they were just more thirsty, since it was 87 degrees.  It contains Stevia, which I'd never had before.  If I hadn't looked it up, I'd have assumed it was Splenda.  I think this might be the "aftertaste" that some runners complained about.  Regardless, if you are using Ultima, you should remember that you need to eat something in order to get some calories in.

The biggest problem for us was that the Lemonade flavor LOOKED LIKE WATER, and since the runners got to our station first, they assumed it was water. They often took it and dumped it on their head before we could stop them.  I kept telling them "This is Ultima Sports Drink, water is at the next table," but they didn't always hear me.

No, this isn't water. Please don't pour it over your head.

It was a lot of fun volunteering for the race.  I was able to take photos of those that I knew who were running, and it was nice to give a helping hand.  The race seemed miserable, though.  It was HOT, and there were tons of ambulances, and I heard that many runners had required medical attention and/or collapsed on the course.  Some of the feedback I had gotten from runners was that there was not enough water on the course.  This is often a problem at hot races, but at the finish line, we also ran out of bananas and oranges, leaving bagels as the only food available at the finish line for those who finished the half marathon in 2:30 or over.  I think that it would also have been nice to have had ice for our Ultima Sports Drink coolers, since many runners were looking for it and both the Ultima and the water were warm.  Tsk, tsk.

So, in the end it was a tough day, a hot day, and a difficult course and conditions.  Congratulations to everyone who ran the race!!

After the race, I took my mom out to brunch. It was her birthday on Saturday, so we enjoyed the delicious brunch at the Chart House in Annapolis, complete with all you can drink Mimosas. This was also our mother's day celebration, since she spent Mother's Day in Tampa with my sister.  We were sitting right in the front window, with a beautiful view of the Naval Academy and all of the sailboats cruising around.  It was a good time.

Me and my mom:

And our View from our table (a storm was coming):


Jen said...

Thanks so much for helping out on Sunday! Sorry I didn't get to see you. My friends who did the half did not have the most endorsing reviews of the electrolyte drink. It didn't help the "what is it?" confusion that it was in Powerade cups.

marathonmaiden said...

yay volunteering! it's something i should do more since i don't race often but want to stay involved with the running community.

is ultima as sticky as gatorade? i really wouldn't want to be a gatorade volunteer for that reason haha

Kim said...

Since it doesn't contain sugar, it wasn't too sticky, but the lemon flavor was stinging the eyes of the people who where pouring it over their heads. I've done the gatorade thing, and THAT is sticky and messy! At least we were sitting the cups down and people were taking them, as opposed to runners grabbing them out of our hands like at a mid-race water stop. Water stops really get messy after a while.

whataboutsummer said...

yay- way to volunteer! I've never done it in a race but I am SO grateful to those who do so I can run. You're awesome! I did the Zooma Atlanta and there were great sponsors; hope they gave you some swag!

onelittletrigirl said...

I love volunteering! I really think it is so much fun!!!

K80K said...

Thank you for volunteering Kim! I would not have known there were oranges and bananas if I hadn't read your blog. The bagels just weren't appetizing after the long hot miles. You were long gone by the time I finished I think. Because of the heat I opted to walk most of the course.

marathon 10k said...
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