Throughout all four layers of clothing I donned this morning to take to the streets of Hollywood I wore nothing green. Sleep-deprived and still rising at 4:30AM made me care as much as a honey badger about reducing the possibility of getting pinched for not wearing the customary color on St. Patrick’s Day.
After a hot breakfast I made my way to the LA Marathon route’s 20 km/ mile 12 marker to greet my team of friendly fellow volunteers and set to up a hydration station. Due to the recent time change it was still dark when I arrived. I wasn’t too thrilled about having to walk an unknown distance from ‘fend for yourself’ parking back to the station. Hollywood has limited non-metered/ unrestricted street parking for non-Hollywood residents. I found a spot only a couple blocks over and appreciated that I got to experience watching the sun come up over Sunset Blvd.
It was beautiful. The picture I managed to take with my old phone camera was not. Ugh. Soon afterward the battery died. Ugh, again. At least I got a photo of the table of freshly-cut oranges and a perfect opportunity to people watch.
It’s not easy to articulate the impact of watching thousands of people make their way to the Pacific Ocean from Dodger Stadium. What I can say is that my senses were full. The sight of people in all kinds of outfits. The sounds of cheering and feet pounding the pavement, with the occasional shout of “Thanks for volunteering,” from a passing runner. The smell of the oranges at the table next to me. The small moment of connection when handing a partially-filled cup of water to an outstretched hand belonging to a parched runner and the feeling when he or she makes eye contact or nods to convey gratitude but just as quickly refocuses on the long journey ahead. I had an energy and inspiration recharge. That said, I still have no desire to run an entire marathon but I would be there in a heartbeat next year to cheer on my friends who do.