Bagels! Get yer bagels!

Sunday was the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon. 44 THOUSAND runners, something like 2 THOUSAND volunteers, and a lot of bands, all up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

I volunteered this time around, at the bagel station handing out carbs to the giddy, the nervous, and the obvious old hats. I had a blast. All you racers out there, please volunteer every now and then. I highly recommend it.

My shift started at 2pm, which means the sun was still up. It was beautiful and warm, and people were generally happy to be there. We fielded lots of questions (Where’s gear check? Do you have any water? Bananas? Where are the corrals? Where’s the VIP tent?) and handed out many many bagels. By my estimation, it was about 3600 of them. Someone from MGD came by and asked if we wanted beads. (The answer to that question is always yes. Always.) Someone from Energizer was handing out pink bunny ears. (Yes, we would love to wear those as well.)

My fellow volunteers were an interesting bunch. They were all people there because they were supporting runners in their families. A few of them were more concerned with their phones and cameras or socializing than handing out bagels. One was concerned with their own creature comforts. I thought, “Um, it might be Vegas, but it’s still December and you should expect the cold. And you can use the handwarmers the race organizers gave you. And your free food will probably come more than an hour into your 6 hour shift, so just hang tight and help the runners ok?” She disappeared shortly and we never saw her again. Hmmmn.

The concert started up, and then we could dance to keep warm while advertising our wares. Cheap Trick played, we shouted at people to “Bagels! Who’s hungry?! We have food!” The sun went down, the racers lined up. The giant LED screens showed the Blues Brothers on their stage above the start line, and  a countdown showed up as each corral got ready to go. The view switched to the runners as 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! went by. It was beautiful. I was so happy to be there.

All my friends were out running down the strip as my shift ended at 6:30. It was a cold walk back indoors. Mandalay Bay was full of people. People waiting for runners, super-fast runners who finished already, cowboys and Michael Jackson fans. Don’t want to brag too much, but the runners/runner’s friends were the happiest looking out of everyone.

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~ by jesstracey on December 6, 2011.

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