Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gusher 2010

Ah, the Gusher marathon 2010. Where do I begin? I first heard about this race from a flyer I received at a 5K in September '09. My first reaction was the same as most people who saw it. A marathon in Beaumont, Texas on May 1st? I'll pass. Besides, I already had my sights set on Austin in February. I did like the idea of a marathon in Beaumont, though. I went home and joined the group on Facebook and was pleased to see that people were showing interest in this race. The running community in the area seemed to be growing, and I was excited about that. The first volunteer meeting was announced that spring, and judging by the excitement on Facebook, I thought I would be one of many to show up. I went to the meeting to find about two other volunteers besides the race directors and title sponsors. Wow, this race was truly a grassroots effort by a few determined people. I wanted to do everything I could to help. I went to all of the meetings. I had signed up for the full marathon, but switched to the half (again) since my hip was still bothering me. But, this race was not about me. The beauty of the Gusher was seeing other people get up and get moving to train for the race. The running bug was really catching on.

Unbelievably, the race ended up with about 2500 runners...way more than what the directors were prepared for. I worked at packet pick-up until about 9:30 the night before the race, and went home exhausted. There were not enough volunteers to handle the race, and a lot of things went wrong that day. The weather was a big problem. It was hot and extremely humid...even for Southeast Texas. I won't even give a race report. But, lessons were learned that day. A lot of people were able to get a glimpse of the joy of running, and the running community has continued to grow since then.

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