Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Monday 4/15/2013

My day Monday started off same as it did the past 3 years.  I got up at the crack of dawn, dressed in the dark, hopped in my card, and headed off to Hopkinton, MA.  I parted in a state park lot, met my friends, and took a big, yellow, volunteer bus into the center of town.

Once in the center of town, I attended a meeting for the Rope Holder volunteers.  I was assigned to Coral 2 this year, and stayed after the meeting to meet the 2 lovely ladies I was going to be working with.  We decided on the best method for us to get the rope across, and decided I would walk in front of the runners to the other side.  I asked to get the Korean church side of the street, because it was right where the elite runner entrance was, and I was hoping to get a glance.

At a little after 9, I took my position on my side of the road and held up my rope to block the entrance of the Corral 2 runners into Corral 1.  Wave 1 and 2 were almost entirely men, with wave 3 having a lot more women interspersed.  I took whatever pictures I was able to when the elite runners came down their entrance....but the only clear photo I have is Shalane.  Wave 1 and 2 went seamlessly.  Wave 3 was filled with a few grumpy runners who had missed their wave.  Apparently, if you missed your wave and were leaving in the following one, you were allowed in any corral but 1.  (No one told us this prior to the race!)

All the volunteers stood and clapped and cheered for the runners as they passed by.  We tried to call out any names we saw written on the runners.  It was such a good feeling to see so many excited runners pass by!  Once all the runners passed, we briefly helped some of the other groups move some barriers and other stuff.  Then, on to lunch, which wasn't there yet.  We probably would have left, but I was starving.  I asked my friends to give it 5 more minutes, and thank goodness, it arrived within the 5 minutes.

Once I had grabbed my lunch with my friends K and S, we found a seat and sat down to eat.  This was S's first year volunteering.  I asked her what she thought, and she said it was great, and that she would definitely do it next year.  I said, probably for the 2nd year in a row, that we should try to volunteer at the finish line, as it would be easier for us to get in and out of, with a much shorter drive.  Then, we talked about how they must have different shifts then us, as the runners finish in all different amounts of time.  We all thought that everything went off very smoothly, without a single serious hitch! We threw our trash out and headed back to the bus.  The last bus.  We had no idea we were that close to missing the last bus!  It seems petty now though, when I think of all the runners, stranded, many with no money or phone, unable to retrieve their bags and leave.  I almost missed the what, right?

Once back at the park, I said goodbye to my friends and we headed off in our cars.  I stopped at Wrentham Outlets for a birthday present for my nephew and then headed back home listening to the marathon results on the radio.  Eventually, it switched to just Red Sox, so I turned it back to music. I was almost home when I got the phone call about the explosions.  As I hadn't heard anything on the radio yet, I thought the explosion was at my house.  No one I talked to had much information yet.  I got home and turned the TV on as soon as I walked in.

 It seems so strange that an event that I had just left with such fond memories could have turned so tragic!  It was also wonderful and heartwarming to watch as the day went on, and residents opened their homes and hearts to those affected by this tragedy.  My heart is with all that were affected by Monday's bombing.  I have chosen to donate funds to The One Fund.  If you would like to donate there as well, please click on the link and it will bring you right there.

Right now, the headline on read: "Official: Arrest imminent in marathon bombing, suspect to be brought to court 1:44 PM.  Hopefully, this will help bring peace and a sense of "right" to something that just seems so wrong.

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