This weekend I had the opportunity once again to Volunteer with Run Disney for the 2013 Wine and Dine Half Marathon.
I have never actually run a Disney event. They are really rather expensive, so, I have been blessed by the opportunity to volunteer.
The wine and dine is at night, so it’s a great opportunity for me. I was able to complete my workout in the morning, and do my volunteering.
While this is one thing that has been posted, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this.
I feel that the statement by Mahatma Ghandi is true. I just am not really sure that being of service at a Disney Race is exactly selfless. One of the reasons I volunteer is that it does help me in a variety of ways- which I will explain as this post unfolds.
Anyway our job was to be Water Station at the Start. Disney gets the runners our to the Wild Word of Sports hours before the race, so they want the runners to stay hydrated. We signed in, had all of our stuff inspected by security, and got our Disney Apparel.
This time it was a snazzy zip up purple windbreaker…
You can barely see it in our “selfie” We also were told to pick up snacks and a water.
We then boarded a Disney Tour Bus, and were shuttled from our start spot over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports. There we commenced to pour water.
They told us to fill it 1/3 to 1/2 way full, but given that it was before the race it turned out that most of the runners wanted FULL cups…as they weren’t just getting little sips as running by.
We filled the cups, and I really enjoyed hanging out with my friend who I had not seen in a while. The weather was really perfect- warm with a breeze. I will say I enjoyed this volunteer experience with Disney the BEST. It was at a relatively normal time (5-11pm). The last time, we started out normally, but then the second shift was at about 12 midnight to 6 am….and it really discombobulated me.
Setting water out was also relatively easy. I did not enjoy crowd control as there is a fine line between Magically controlling the crowd and pissing off race participants.
At any rate, we did a swift water business, got to chat with many of the racers
And just in general enjoy each other. Since we were right at the start, there was a huge screen, and we could see all the festivities. In fact, it was kind of funny, prior to the participants being there, they were all watching foot ball on this HUGE screen!
So pre-race, they had upbeat music, contests, and people in general milling about adjusting costumes, using the portapotties, and waiting…drinking water….and drinking more water..and drinking more water.
By 9 pm, the racers were drinking cups and cups of water, almost faster than we could fill them. It was a busy busy time. The participants were pretty nice, and most thanked us very sincerely for being there. Again, in my brand new jacket, munching on an oreo 100 calorie pack, I felt kind of like the thank you was nice, but that I had not made a big sacrifice!
Thankfully by about 9:15 pm the DJ called for people to move to the corrals. People continued to consume large amounts of water. The volunteers started to say to each other (very quietly) “Go to the Corrals..GO GO GO.” It was a little bit tough to try to supply the water need, but I am always cognizant of the fact that these people paid a lot of money for a race experience, and darn it all, if they interact with me they are going to get the Big Disney Magical Smile and as much encouragement as I can muster. By the end I was really beat. One nice thing was again being at the start, we got to see the fireworks go off. Disney sets off fireworks for EACH corral….
So that was neat. After a bit…they pulled us out of the fray and we were returned to the beginning of our volunteer areas. We were given a one day one park pass for our 4-6 hours of service, as well as told to take more snack packs.
I took a bunch of snack packs for good hand washers at work. I am saving the park pass- it will be part of my “Give this Christmas Away” I’m hoping to get one at the February Princess Half Marathon, as I missed the opportunity for the Marathon and Half. I want to give them to my coaches friend who recently lost her husband. WHAT? No I don’t want her to go to Disney, but she has kids. The pass doesn’t expire for a long time. THere may come a day when those kids just need a day of fun. My goal is to get at least 3 for that family…bringing down a day at Disney to a reasonable price, if not free.
So yes, I was in service to others, but I sure was compensated for it as well.
It was a fun Saturday activity. Looking forward to registering for Princess!