Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wine and Dine, Rain or Shine - Volunteering Report

After volunteering at the Expo last night, then running a 5k this morning, we were ready for the third part of our great Wine & Dine Weekend - volunteering at the RACE!!!

We got to the Volunteering Tent around 5:30 and checked in.

First table we stopped at was the Windbreaker table. Each volunteer gets one of these and you are required to wear them so runners can see you.   They are thin and not very water-repellent or warm, but it's a good place to tuck lots of stuff, because it has LOTS of pockets (2 big ones inside and 2 more outside).

Jackets at the front table, snackage in the back
Our next stop was the Snack table.  Generally, at bigger Disney races, you get 5 items with no repeats.  This time, we could take whatever we wanted, including repeats.  I ended up with Doritos, BBQ Lay's, SunChips, Oreos, Nature Valley Bars and some SlimJims.  (I think Disney wanted to get rid of almost-expired snackage!)  We also each got a bottle of water.

Junk food!!!!
After putting on our jackets and filling our clear sling-bag, we boarded our specific bus.  As you can see on the credential, it tells you what bus you need - in this case, we had to get on "Finish Area" shuttle bus.

The two holes are to show that you were given a jacket and food (so you can't lie and get more)
When we got to the Finish Area, our Team Leader told us that we would be responsible for bananas and runDisney food boxes.  Our table was in front of the Medical Area.  I saw this gallon of BioFreeze and had to share it with you! (Later that evening I asked one of the medical folks how much it cost, and I think he said over $100!!!)

BioFreeze and strapping tape - what did I sign up for again?
At first, me and The Kiddo set out bananas, but she wanted to be alone, so I moved over to the other side of the road and helped the Hubby and another volunteer (David? I think) set up runDisney boxes.

Sure, it looks all pretty and organized... NOW!
At this point, our Team Leader came over and told us that the radar was looking nasty, and we should be expecting rain - very soon. Now, remember, it is November. It's chilly (the low was going to be mid-50s).  This did not bode well for the runners. OR for us.

We set up a full table (there were 4 sets of tables) with bananas and boxes before the Team Leader told us to hold up on putting anything else out. He didn't want the boxes to get soaked when the rain started. Makes sense.

At this point, we were done on our side, so I helped out The Kiddo a bit, then wandered around.  Of course I had to check out the medals (I was kind of jealous that we didn't get to hand out medals)!!! This year's medals were spinners - this meant that the middle part (that looks like Spaceship Earth) spun on a small axis to reveal the Running Chef Mickey on the other side. Cute!

See those tiny posts on top and bottom of the spinner?  That's how it spins!
We were close enough to the Park that we could see Spaceship Earth (the blue ball on the right) as well as the bigger bursts from Illuminations. Unfortunately (and unfortunately for you, reading this post), I only had my iPod with me to take photos.

I love being so close to the finish line
It was getting colder outside, and it had begun to rain at this point. My wonderful Hubby demonstrated how we should hand out bananas, so that we wouldn't get too cold or too wet.

I'm dry, take your banana
The Kiddo also modelling the beautiful Emergency Green windbreakers.

Sure, it LOOKS waterproof...
It's gone past sprinkling, but not yet pouring - we kept our bananas safe under tarps.

Stay safe, little nanners!
These wonderful packets were scattered around the Finish Line area.  It's Vo-Ban, something you would need to sprinkle on vomit to absorb it and sweep it away. Eww.

If you're gonna spew, spew near this
More fun items at the Medical Tent - "Skin Lube"

Okay, seriously, what kind of party are we having?
It's raining a LOT harder now. Our teammate, David, happened to work at the local hospital (that was proving medial assistance), so he went in to the medical tent and scored some ponchos for us to use.  We threw those suckers on over our windbreakers. At this point, it was coming down pretty hard, and it was cold, too.

We're soaked, but we're festive - all of us had glow bracelets and necklaces and stuff (too bad you couldn't see 'em)
Oh, and because it was cold, the Kiddo and I had decided to wear jeans. Not a big deal, but when you add RAIN to that mix, you get wet legs that take forever to dry! It didn't take long before I got really uncomfortable and unhappy with the weather. I can only imagine how much it sucked for the runners!

Before it got busy and miserable
I took a horrible photo of either the winner, or one of the first to come through the chute.  It was honestly so wet and rainy that I wasn't paying much attention to anything at this point. 

Check out this terrible photo of some skinny guy with a heat sheet! It's so awesome!
Unfortunately, from here on out, I don't have any more photos, and everything was such a soggy blur, my report is basically crap.  Which sucks, because I can remember that it was super fun, and lots of stuff happened, but when I type it up, none of it's going to make a lot of sense!  But I'll try.

Once the fast folks came through (you know, about the first 50 people who are here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but ran out of bubblegum?), the "regular" runners came through and it got more fun.  Very quickly though (by quick, I mean within an hour or so), tables began having issues restocking boxes and bananas.  This is because we didn't OVERstock to begin with (because of the rain), so we were constantly behind the rest of the night.

There were times that we ran out of bananas, or boxes, and we had to send people to other tables. Being that we were the first table on the right, people were automatically going there first, which made restocking hard!    When that happened, I - She of the Big Diaphragm - was sent to the front of the table to direct traffic elsewhere.  I would do the Disney Point (two fingers, never one!) and say with a booming, official-sounding voice: "Food is located to the left, or further down!" This would give the guys time to restock the tables, and then I'd stop for a while.

It got to the point however, that that became my 'job' for the rest of the night, and, well, I inadvertently turned into a Cast Member. Runners heard The Voice and how official I sounded, and came to me for all sorts of things!  Where is the bathroom?  Where is water? How to I reunite with my family? It was really funny!  I think even some of the ACTUAL cast members were confused - like they didn't know who I was...

One request that I got that made me super-sad was a gentleman who came up to me and showed me that his BRAND-NEW spinning medal was broken! The inside part had fallen out!  I took his medal and ran back to the Medal Area for him and got a new one to bring back to him.  One of the medal volunteers told me that this wasn't a rare occurrence - a lot of them were falling apart. And later that night, I began to hear a few clanks as medals fell...  I think if I'd paid $200+ for this race and my medal was so defective I couldn't even get a finisher photo with it, I'd be pretty pissed!!! A lot of people were, judging by Facebook and other social media the next day.  Perhaps Disney will rethink spinners...

Anyway, eventually we ran out of boxes and bananas, and even Craisins (eww), so I busted out my Cast Member voice again and directed remaining runners to the left.... and further down. We broke down our tables and cleaned up our trash while the last few runners came though and then it was time to head back to buses. Man, I've never been so glad to be on a bus (a DRY bus) in my life!  We made it back to the Volunteer tent, picked up our ticket and drove back to our hotel.  It's been a LONG day and I was beat!  Let's get some sleep before we hit up a park in a few hours (what?  You know we wouldn't leave without going to a park!)