Sunday, April 03, 2016

2016 CUCB Volunteer report

I admit it -- I'm a sap. I really dig volunteering, and am sorry when I can't find the time for it. So despite serving as a 2016 Cherry Blossom 10-miler race ambassador, I volunteered to work the Expo again.

They're taking my bio down when they get new folks, so here's my screenshotted version. It was cool while it lasted.

Last year while volunteering at the Expo, I had a super fun time, but I was hurt, and inadvisedly chose a job where I'd have to stand for about 4 hours. No bueno. So this year, I volunteered early on and picked a slot where I could sit -- the Information Table! 

Never mind that "knowing stuff" isn't my strong suit.

You're totally reading this in his voice. RIP Fredo.

They assigned about 8 of us to the information table, which had the happy side effect of letting me wander around during the Expo, or to stand up and take a person over to a larger map, if they seemed anxious or confused over what to expect on Race Day.  But, happily, one of the folks at the table, CC, of RunCookEatRepeat, was a fellow information-dispensing volunteer! Woot! We were psyched, and CC came up with the clever idea for us to just OWN our not knowing anything issue:

Our patron saint.

Anyway, they gave us lots of binders full of . . .  knowledge to pass along

Nope. Not going there.

It did help quite a bit that I've run this thing a few times, because I was able to give a few tips here and there from experience. The biggest one was that if you take the Smithsonian metro stop, walk to the NON-Mall exit. It's less crowded, and always feels a little faster to get to a corral. Stay on the "far" side of Independence Ave, crossing near the Washington Monument at the corner. Again, less crowded, quicker to your spot.

Pre-Expo opening, I stopped in on the RaceDots folks, while they were setting up. I'm so freaking into these things.

"Hey! I think your magnets are . . . attractive? Haha you can use that if you like. No? I should fuck off? Ok."

But soon we were handling question upon question, and meeting internet personae in real life, which I'm sure my ridiculously introverted self handled with aplomb. 

Peopling in person is hard for me.

Not long after came the always-effervescent Kim, of Kim Runs Miles with Smiles!

Gotta take our standard giddy-to-see-you shot!

She then revealed that Molly, the operator of the @CUCB twitter feed, had given her the password so she could tweet from the Expo for part of Friday!


Kim declined my suggestions of possible tweets (I'll let you guess what those were gonna be).

"Come see our fountain of runner's tears!"  Ok, fine, later on I also made a reference to jizz.

I ran into Leah as Meb was being introduced to speak.  She's fresh off a finish at the Thomas Jefferson 100K (!!) and was looking forward to watching Meb. We got to chat a bit (only got shushed once!) about ultras, and offline life stuff (#ProjectSecretSecretProject). It's barely a CUCB Expo if Leah and I don't snark on about stairs and crowds, but she DID want to see Meb talk, so I scurried off

"Ok, so while we don't have the way more famous Tai Fung to speak, here's a guy who's almost as cool.  And he doesn't use the word 'scurried,' like, ever."

Back at the info table, we later got visited by Midpack Biped, of his blog of the almost-same-name, who hung out with us at the info table long enough to take an action shot of me doing Info-ing. Just look at how riveted and informed these poor, I mean, hapless, I mean, LUCKY women are as they listen to me talk!

Let me help with that if you don't want to click to embiggen:


Like I said, I was a wealth of info.

Anyway, like any good volunteer group after our shift ended, we went to a bar post-volunteering, where CC & I introduced Midpack to the joys of the Untappd app (basically it's as if Foursquare got drunk, or at least wanted to help YOU get drunk). We had just a couple of beers, and headed back to the Expo for the Volunteer Appreciation party -- 

-- seriously.  Like CUCB doesn't do enough for you with the guaranteed lottery win for next year, you get wine and snacks and door prizes. And name tags.

This actually went over ok!
After that, and owing to our having to rest for A TEN MILE RACE IN TWO DAYS AND ALL THAT, we all bade our goodbyes and headed out. But it was actually kinda hard to sleep -- volunteering is a total rush. It's . . . fun. I'm so glad I did it. 

Even if I spent almost half my time shrugging. Because the rest of the time I was dropping major knowledge.

And schmoozing.
I want to thank the fellow members of the CUCB Ambassador squad. They were understanding of my cluelessness, friendly, welcoming, and plenty accomplished.

Alternative name:  "7 Bloggers were hanging out until a Cave Troll in a tie showed up" other alternative "Dork Knight and the 7 Bloggers"
From left to right, we have Janelle, Lauren, Elizabeth, Molly, Coco, Courtney, Kim, and, well, . . . Yeah.

Finally . . . the Meb thing. Of COURSE he's awesome. He's a gentleman to boot. But i just couldn't bring myself to walk up to him for a picture, and I had a LOT of opportunities to get one. Apparently, I even walked by him at the CUCB "VIP" dinner (in quotes because I was there). I missed him, and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Like, I missed them by less than 5 feet.  Maybe because I was instinctively looking down at MY phone feet. 

But I'd accidentally walked right past them, and didn't stop to get a pic. I'm not sure I would have even if I hadn't been looking down so much.  I just don't feel like I belong, or maybe I mean I don't feel like I should be talking to people that accomplished. Regardless, as luck would have it, I got to be in a photo with Meb anyway . . . .

Thanks for putting up with all the CUCB stuff for the past few months. Back to our regularly scheduled jizz jokes pablum.


  1. This post is awesome just like you! @MalindaAnnHill was beyond bummed that she missed you at the Expo (stuck on Amtrak train for over 90 minutes due to switch problems). Luckily, Malinda was able to pick-up @LeahCville's bib (with her name that she spelled wrong all by herself) on Friday so we could see Meb & Joanie together on Saturday. We LOVE VOLUNTEERS and the CUCB! :-)

    1. Awww, you two make the Wonder Twins look like the Doublemint Twins! Seriously, you're both ridiculously fast, and make such a great team. Malinda's tenacity is inspiring, and I know Leah is just plain zoomy-fast. Oh! And I was AT the Expo Saturday for a bit too! So so sorry I missed you both! Another race, another time. And Leah spelling her own name wrong cracks me up - that's something I'd do!! ;) :D

  2. Fabulous recap of your volunteer experience. I'm sure you helped lots of people and didn't give out #WrongInfo. I wish I could have stayed for the volunteer party - it looked pretty awesome.

    1. It's always so great to see you at these Kim! And you were doing a fantastic job pulling double duty as the backup voice of CUCB! ;)

  3. It was such a good time! I feel like we may have even given out some very important info after all! Mostly we shared our love of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler to lots of people and we stayed out of the way when the more professional acting volunteers stepped in to answer questions. I'll be stealing large sections of this blog for my CUCB Vol Experience blog, so thank you in advance. :)

    1. You're ever so welcome. Thanks for being such a clutch co-tabler with me. Use any sections you like by the way -- I worked in the whole "NatsTwitter" thing we encountered into an older entry, hahaha.

      Her fucking DOGS. >:(

  4. It was fun getting to know you better!

    1. Thank you Coco! You too! And I especially appreciated you herding all us cats (I mean, editing, haha). ;)