This morning I got up early, got ready, and headed over to the Hammond Community Centre for the Terry Fox Run.
Stop laughing !!!
But, on a serious note, it was the 30th Annual Run… (but I’m ashamed to say) …my first one.
(Usually, HATE is too strong a word… but with Cancer, I’ll make an exception.)
He asked me if I was participating in the upcoming Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge Terry Fox Run. I said no, but I would love to help if he knew where I could volunteer. He did, and so it was that I found myself, just before 8 am on a drizzling Sunday morning, headed across a parking lot to find out what I could do to assist the folks who were there.
Met some awesome folk: Joanne, Betty, Hank, Tami, Barry and a couple of Bruce’s. (There were more folks, but I’ll do better with names next year !)
As the race got closer to being underway, I was asked if I was okay with directing traffic, and sent out to guard and guide traffic and pedestrians at the intersection of 114 & 207.
The Run was broken down into three distances: 1 kilometre, 5 kilometres & 10 kilometres.
When I got to 207th, Officers from the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment were already there, and waiting to help control traffic… so our jobs became the more joy-filled purpose, of simply cheering the soggy runners on.
Shortly after 10 am, the run started.
… and so did the rain.
I have never been outside in such a downpour.
And from the smiles and grins on the face of the runners… you would never have known the sun wasn’t shining.
The crowd was (reportedly) bigger than ever, and I can’t remember ever volunteering at an event, where so many people were so happy to be there.
And then the light show started !
Lightning and thunder… pretty close to overhead.
Those participants holding umbrellas and those of us holding Stop signs, gave a gulp of surprise… shook off the rain, and kept going.
There are many stories that I came across today… those of Cancer survivors, and some folks who came in memory of someone who had lost their fight…. but none touched me as much as the lady who about 9:40 came along, and asked me if she was going the right way.
Many people had been asking directions to the Community Centre, where the start was, as it is buried in the midst of a residential neighbourhood… so I started to give her directions to the start, and she interrupted me, and explained, they had already been there.
This was her 30th year doing the “Run“, and every year, it was taking her a little longer to get around.
So, because she didn’t want to hold anyone up, and to avoid being jostled by the crowd… she and her companion (maybe a daughter ?) had started early.
They came across my intersection again… which means they did at least the 5 km route… close to the end of the crowd, as the Run was winding down.
Soaked through, but grinning from ear to ear, you could tell she was pleased that she was close to completing another year’s Terry Fox Run.
I wanted to take her picture… but the rain was lashing down, and my Blackberry was already soaked through (along with the rest of us) so it will have to wait for next year, when I’m sure I shall see her again !
Thanks to all the cheery people who came out on a rainy day to play in the big puddle the roads turned into… the volunteers who laughed in the rain… and the one special lady who reminded me that sometimes to just complete the race, is its very own reward.