Thursday, June 9, 2011

Being A Road Marshal Volunteer.

This year’s New Balance 15km event was held at Putrajaya on Sunday.

I still remember last year’s one where to my dismay and disappointment, I completed the run in 2 hours. I was so ill-prepared for the slopes and hills of Bukit Tunku that I walked most of the way. I actually felt like a complete failure.

We decided we had to get our revenge in 2011, a revenge on the slopes and hills. I wanted to come back stronger!

However, we didn’t sign up for this year's event. At the eleventh hour, both YB and I volunteered to be road marshals as I heard that they needed some helpers.

It was breezy when we arrived at 520am. The winds were hinting a taste of rain. At that moment, YB and I sighed, “I wish I was running!”

While waiting for Ida to bring me to my station, I waited at the registration area, looking like a lost lamb. There were so many familiar faces but not all returned my wave or wave. (Why? I still don’t get it. If you know someone is a familiar face, why can’t you be friendly?) Dejected, I wanted to crawl under a table to hide. Mercifully I did bump into a few friendly people thereafter but it didn’t stop me from feeling all alone.

As I was wearing the Pacesetters’ bright yellow t-shirt, some participants came up to me to ask, “Excuse me, where is the toilet?”

My station was the first junction, just 300m away from the Start line. All I did was wave the red flag in my right hand towards the right!

I saw all sorts of runners. One girl was yakking on her mobile as she jogged. Two bandit runners ran to catch up with the crowd. One girl just walked. (At this point I wanted to glare – 300m across the line and you’re giving up already?? Hmmfh.) One guy thought he needed to run straight ahead but ahem, that’s where I came in, and pointed him to the right direction. *big grin* Woah, I felt useful for once!

My last station was pretty much uneventful. I had to guard one of the possible short cuts just to make sure no one ran through. About 20 minutes into the task, I moved on to the 13.5km (I think) to accompany another marshal and to snap some pictures.

I got to say hi to a few friends, cheered some people on, snap some shots and eventually I got a bit bored. You can tell from my fellow marshal that he was bored, too, He just leaned against a barrier and watched the runners passing by.

At this stage, someone asked me, “How far to go?” and as I honestly didn’t know, I blurted out, ”Just 2km to go!” and he spluttered, “WHAT?! They said it was 1km to go! Hmmfh!”

Ooops. Misrepresentation on my part, then.

We were starving by the time the last runner past us by. Back at the booths, YB and I were too shy to take the packets of nasi lemak and I timidly asked the lady manning the booth whether it was OK for us to take some. Someone glared at me when I took two – until she saw me hand one over to YB. Geez.

Overall, I'd say it was an interesting experience. YB made some new friends. Next time, can I be one of those girls who distribute medals instead? ;D


  1. Can, sure can... next run needing volunteers is the Salomon X-Trail Run at UPM.

    you can hand out the medals :)
    only 100 per category

    so...on as marshal or medal giver or medaller ?(is there such a word?)


  2. ahahahaha unfortunately i'm not sure of my plans for that particular weekend yet, so i can't sign up as volunteer just yet. i thought of joining, until i saw the registration fee. hehe