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Observations About The SB Marathon

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Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 AM to volunteer for the first ever Santa Barbara International Marathon. It’s a really big deal that an event of this scale was held in our town and a real testament to the planning committee and especially Dan Rudd who helped orchestrate what seemed like a flawless execution. Here are some facts:

  • Total registrants– 2,952
  • Countries represented – 11
  • States represented – 48
  • First time marathoners – 33%
  • Volunteers – 982

Since I am not a runner (by any stretch of the imagination) and certainly have never been to a marathon, here are my observations. Some might seem like commonplace or a given but remember, this is all new to me!

  • If you block the left lane of a road, people will drive around. If you block both lanes, they’ll drive in the center. They are always not happy about the signs. The only time they change their attitude is when they almost take out a motorcycle officer and get yelled at.
  • For some reason, cyclists insist on riding with the runners, weaving in and around them and slamming their brakes to prevent running into them from behind. What makes this particularly strange is that the runners were headed east on the westbound street. The eastbound lanes were open to traffic and normally cyclists ride with car traffic so they should have been on the other side of the road.
  • Runners are in a zone when they run and when you yell out their name, they always get startled, then it takes them a second to realize what’s happening, then they get really happy to see you.
  • A lot of people say thanks for volunteering.
  • People throw away all sorts of clothing on the side of the road.
  • Some people run like Phoebe from Friends. Really funny.
  • There were various people holding pace signs designating they were running a certain pace. I could not believe anyone would want to hold a sign for 26 miles. They did not look light.
  • Some women are so ripped they have muscles I have never seen. Instead of a 6 or 8 pack, this one lady had like a 50 pack.
  • It’s very tiring to stand at the same spot for four hours with no food and restroom breaks.

It certainly was a fun event. Would I do it again? Ask me next year.

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