I have spent the last few weeks, begging and pleading and cajoling everyone I knew to volunteer in the Hintonburg Centennial 5K this past weekend. You rocked my world, you made it awesome... you retweeted, you wrangled for me... and damn it if you didn't get up early on a Sunday morning to help out.
The Hintonburg 5K is not your usual 5k course. It's a neighbourhood run, we close something like 34 intersection. In a part of Ottawa that is changing, still there are spots were the struggles of the last decade shows. Our course goes through these.
Deep in the heart of Hintonburg, the Outlaws have a safe house. Right around the 3.5k mark. Every year in July, they all get together and have a very delicate biker gang kind of party. They have cookies and tea. (Or something just like it.) So when at 5:30 a.m. one of the sedate not-scary-at-all and "very-happy" revellers asked The Man was he was doing. The Man explained. (What do you really?)
"Well, do you think they'll want beer? We have beer." asked the nice Outlaw man.
"I don't think they'll want beer, but you could have a misting hose ready," The Man said explaining about the marathon at the Bejing Olympics. (Only The Man would do this, I'd have adopted a back away slowly kind of attitude.) "But maybe you could ask before you spray people."
But The Man did note that the bikes were all lined up along the streets, and bikers love their bikes. Eeek.
Hence in the pre-race announcement, The Man told the runners "DO NOT TO TOUCH THE BIKES." (And maybe pick up the pace a little.) I, of course, was not paying attention to the announcement because well, I was busy handing out timing chips. And The Man will repeat when I don't listen -- besides it wasn't for me, it was for everyone else. Oh, admit it sometimes you turn your spouse off from time to time too. Besides I knew the drill... I helped coordinate the volunteers. Right?
Hence, when the running third of FoodiePrints explained that the biggest baddest looking biker she had ever seen hosed her off during the run. I looked at her funny. "And Nat, I didn't touch the bikes." I hadn't a clue what she was talking about.
See I hadn't actually talked to Jeff since 11 p.m. the previous night. I'm told that perhaps in their blissful state the bikers were, taking a bit more of a take charge approach and hosing everyone off. Listening not so much part of the biker code. Perhaps I have something in common with bikers.
Apparently the Outlaw enjoyed themselves. I think we can all agree that this is a good thing. For the race, for the runners, and for the 'hood.
Before I leave you, special kudos to the following...
The Fabulous Ms. G. who postponed her group 16K marathon training run to help out with chips. She called and said "What do you need me to do?" before she even said hello. You have to love that.
Spydergrrl got the whole damn family up, retweeted and shouted from the rooftops. Amazing. Love you for that. (I got to meet Dude, Spydergrrl's cool is genetic. Love that kid.) Hit me up next time you need help... (well, heck you can all do that.)
To FoodiePrints (the third that doesn't run) for taking on a tricky intersection without much training (I hear the kid is going to run the 5K next year.) Great ideas, thank you for the post run chat too.
So good to see Finola again. And well, I just love Joe and Marshall so much that it's worth mentioning them as well. (Great work on the water station guys.)
To the folks who came out again for the 5th time or those who attended it for the first time, and volunteered for barricades (@goldiej7 -- wow!), and our usual suspect. Amazing, all of you. The race is built on volunteers. I can't express how much it means to The Man aka the Race Director, and to me -- we are both tremendously grateful. It's a lot to close 30-odd intersections. And really, we couldn't do it without you.
You all fucking Rock!