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Time to give back a little....

For the past year (actually longer) I have been reaping the benefits of friend's and volunteer's support. While I like to give back when I can, it is hard for me to sometimes find those opportunities that I can do with kids, family, etc.-- but not this weekend!

This weekend was the Rock'n Roll Denver 1/2 and full marathon and I had 3 friends running one of the races. (Not to mention the kids, who ran here.) It was much easier to involve the kids and Ross in the festivities since they, too, were friends with everyone. For support, we made t-shirts, signs, etc. so that the kids felt included and could do their part to cheer everyone on.
This is Noah's onesie. It says "See Daddy Run 13.1! GO DADDY!"

"The Dana, Chuck, Gaye OFFICIAL Cheer Crew!"

So, I started the day off at 5:00 a.m. waiting for Dana to pick me up.

Then it was off to get Chuck and go downtown. Once we were there, I made sure my race buddies were good to go and I was off to the first volunteer station (about 1 mile jog).
Ready to run!

Here we spent time stacking cups, filling water, etc. all while waiting for 15,000+ runners to pass on through. This was a really cool opportunity for me because I was volunteering at the Runner's Roost station (my local running store) that was partnered with my Tri Club, so I was happy to see everyone.
Sean, Elizabeth and a lotta, lotta Cytomax.

Once the runners started coming through, it was all business! I have never seen so many people in such a short amount of time (15,000 over about 45 minutes) race on through. It looked something like this.

The cool thing about the first stop is that it is over fast. When the runners were all done, we quickly cleaned up and I was outta there by 8:05. Then, I was running to mile 5 (about 3 miles away) to meet Ross and Dan (Dana's husband) and all of our kids.

Got there to find that Gaye, Chuck and Dana had already passed by. That was ok, I was glad everyone was having a good race! I could tell the men had their hands full with the kids (who wouldn't?), so I kind of anticipated I wouldn't be running too long with anyone (unless it was Gaye later when the kids went home).

At this time, Lorynne showed up and we all moved to mile 9.5-- two blocks away-- just in time to see Chuck pass.
So, then Lorynne, Braden and Noah were off to the finish line.

Shortly after Gaye came by

I got to see her and run with her a little.
She was doing awesome!

The kids did their jobs blowing horns and holding signs!

Then Dana came by and you can see how her face lit up when she saw her family and friends and it made being out there all the much more worthwhile!!!

I got to run a little with her, too.

Then, we were all off to the finish line... (a complete MADHOUSE with spectators for 15,000 people all in one place)

We got on the wrong side of the corral, but were still able to see Dana pass.

Chuck had finished, we found Dana at the family reunion meeting spot, but with 4 tired kids, we were unable to find Chuck & Company, but we got some good finish line photos of the Grotes.

I tried to text Gaye's friend, only to find I didn't save her number properly. I was bummed and waited for Lyndsey to text me, but nothing. So, I headed home with my clan to cyber stalk Gaye's finish.
Picture I pulled off the internet of Gaye finishing. That's my girl!

I was so happy to be out there supporting. I know it pales in comparison to all of the support I have received, but it was the least we could do.

I STRONGLY encourage anyone with friends, family, co-workers, etc who participate in these types of events, to spectate-- it makes all the difference in the world to a lot of them. And often, you make a difference in those you don't know as well. (In IM, one of the coolest signs I saw said, "I am a COMPLETE STRANGER and I am proud of you".)

Plus, you get to see some pretty cool and fun stuff. I'll leave you with some pictures of some fun runners. :)