This morning, Dave and I volunteered with the Team in Training group at aid station 7 for the Chicago Half Marathon! It was great fun mixing Gatorade from concentrate and filling cups for the runners, although I think the people watching was the best part.
We got there at about 4:45 a.m. after a little searching off of the interstate exit. We were at about the 8.5 mile marker, off the 31st Street exit on Lake Shore Drive. They closed Lake Shore at about 6 a.m., as we were beginning to fill cups.
There were a lot of teenagers volunteering through their high school, which could be alternately funny and frustrating at times. I was like the bitchy mother they never knew they had. Basically a group of teenage basketball players kept scooting forward and crowding the running thoroughfare, so I kept having to yell at them to back up to give the runners room. At various times I threatened them with being doused with Gatorade and also with being relegated to cup-filling. Sigh.
I am interested to see how many runners there were today. The first ones came through at about 8 a.m.: first the wheelchair racers, of which there were about a half dozen, then the really fast tiny people.
Then the masses.
The last runners (walkers, really) went through at about 9:30, and we cleaned the place up. It was a pretty epic pile of waxed cups. After they opened Lake Shore Drive again, we got out at about 9:45. I was glad to get out a little earlier than we expected, because traffic for the Bears game was looking pretty crazy. Let's just say that tailgaters started setting up at about 7 a.m.
Anyhoo, it was a very fun morning! I am sad we can't volunteer for the marathon, too, but we will be out of town. It feels good, though, to help out at aid stations like this during races, and I hope to do it again next year.