When I decide to do something, I tend to kinda go overboard. So when I found two races with volunteer potential on the same weekend, well, naturally I signed up to do both of them.
Saturday morning was the Splash Dash 5K at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. The confirmation email instructed us to bring a grocery bag full of water balloons and arrive by 6am. We’d spent an hour on Friday afternoon filling water balloons–it turns out a grocery bag is not the best transport option, so they ended up in a small ice chest in the trunk of my car. My thumb is still sore from tying off 50+ water balloons!
I’m not a morning person, and the race wasn’t scheduled to start until 8:30, so I figured getting there around 7am would be sufficient. We’d already filled up the water balloons, so I didn’t see the need to arrive 2.5 hours early. We still had to get up at the crack of dawn since Old Settlers Park is more than 30 minutes away, but at least at that hour there’s not much traffic!
When we arrived, only a few cars dotted the parking lot, and even fewer volunteers had checked in. I thought perhaps additional volunteers had ignored the 6am request and were on the way, but by 7:45, only 8-10 people had shown up to work the drinking water stops and water balloon brigades. Yikes.
B and I collected our t-shirts and followed the volunteer coordinator to our station. One other person joined us, and that was it. Our “brigade” consisted of the three of us, my cooler of water balloons, seven buckets of refill water, and an arsenal of water guns and water cannons. What we lacked in personnel, we made up with enthusiasm, however. We loaded up our weapons and waited for our first runners.
We could see the start/finish line across the little lake, and they sent the first wave right at 8:30. I guess there were a bunch of water obstacles at the beginning of the course slowing people down–our little brigade was near the end and we didn’t see our first runners for another 20 minutes or so.
For the next hour, we gleefully aimed our water arsenal at Splash-Dashers, although every once in a while we inadvertently doused each other as well!. Most runners appreciated the water stop–it was already hot at 9am. A few people shied away from us or acted irritated that we aimed streams of water at their shirts. Which begs the question: what did you think you were going to get when you signed up for the Splash Dash 5K, a race that advertises itself as The Wettest Race in America?
By the time the last group of runners crossed our path, we were just about out of water. We picked up all the water toys, stacked the empty buckets, and left everything neatly organized for the race folks to pick up again. Our co-volunteer took off for the finish line to partake in whatever festivities were happening over there, and B and I headed to my car.
When I got home, the WEIRDEST thing happened. Earlier in the week I’d left a voice mail with one of the organizers about volunteering at the Hotter Than Du duathlon at Brushy Creek sports park tomorrow, and while we’d exchanged texts, we hadn’t touched base about specifics. So while I was thinking about it, I sent a quick text confirming time and place, and as the “send” bar moved halfway from left to right, my phone rang. It was the same number I was simultaneously texting. Wooooooo. Spooky. But I’m all set for tomorrow’s volunteer stint!