Don't Be A Turkey

Don’t Be A Turkey

27/11/2012 in General

 Another great shot from Arizona…

Thanksgiving weekend is a little different in this household than most.  We wake up thinking not about food or shopping but about volunteering for races.  Before 5:30am on Thursday and Saturday morning my hands were unloading cases of water for aid stations and marking the course helping put on the Long Grove Turkey Trot and the Schaumburg Half Marathon.  After doing Ironman Florida and Arizona I started to notice a few things about certain groups of athletes that I really noticed this weekend.

The top 10% of athletes show appreciation for volunteers the race course, they show race etiquette.  They yell ahead to course martial if they don’t know where the course goes, they yell what they want coming into aid stations, they toss their rubbish (cups, clothes, gels) by the aid stations, and sometimes eek out a thanks as they suffer.  The rear 66% of the race is about the same, they are so happy you came out to volunteer so they could do the race.  This leaves 25% that make me laugh.  Yes, I am making generalizations and a few in this group ruin it for everybody…These are the real turkey’s on my Thanksgiving.

Example 1) I am not listening – Headphones.  If you are wearing headphones and rocking out to Rachmaninoff or Beethoven you are not going to hear that people are calling out marked hazards and you trip on it don’t be upset.  Blame yourself.

Example 2) I am not listening – When you run an aid station the key is to get the most vocal volunteers, and on Sunday I got a group of volunteers from the Church of the Latter Day Saints.  I did not know what to expect, but they ended up being one of the best groups I have ever had.  They were vocal, cheered, they made jokes, the athletes loved em.  Except for a few.  This lady came into the aid station yelling Gatorade and grabs a water from a guy yelling water and throws it down, she runs past the volunteers yelling Gatorade and grabs another cup from a young lady yelling water and throws that cup at the ground.  Then to top it off, as she runs away she yelled back I wanted Gatorade.

Example 3) I own the course – Arizona on my 3rd loop of the run when we were running under an overpass when this age grouper just pulled up and started #2 just off to the side of the sidewalk.  I laughed.  I understand if there was a line for a port o pottie or just hadn’t been any place to stop, but we had just past a vacant latrine 600 ft back.

Example 4) I own the course – When you are lead bike on an out and back it is always fun.  You get to see how spread out the field is how the race is unfolding and how soon you can start clean up.  Every time you get runners that are running on the wrong side of the road yelling at you to get out of the way.  The neon vest with the lead runner 20 ft back means nothing to them.

Example 5) I know the course best – At Long Grove I happened to be standing on one of the corners and this lady that is about the 400th of 2500 runners runs straight screaming at the volunteers that the course is marked wrong and that the course goes straight.  Suddenly mass panic and runners are turning around and yelling at the volunteers and following this lady that is going the wrong way.  I am standing there yelling the turn left, the course goes left shaking my head laughing.  I would see the lady later and she yelled at the volunteers that they need to mark the courses better.  2499 people can follow huge road construction arrows, but her…

Darn I just ran out of soap.  So now it is time for some Oreos and M&M’s for breakfast…how I love off season.  Can you believe December is here?

Happy off season,


  • Rachel Stanley 14:44h, 27 November Reply

    After attending countless races this year and volunteering at many of them, this is one of the best posts, ever. Thanks for being one of the appreciative athletes

  • Hammy 17:32h, 27 November Reply

    Starky, that’s why we love ya…YOU KEEP IT REAL!

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