Yup, it happened today. I used a popsicle stick to smear Vaseline on a guy’s nipple.
You see, I volunteered at the Capital City River Run with my running group, Team Playmakers. It was at mile 9 for the half marathoners; mile 22 for the full marathon. The weather was perfect for standing around, handing out oranges, M&Ms, pretzels, Gatorade and water. Too warm for running, really, so a lot of the runners coming through were on the struggle bus.
But we thoroughly enjoyed helping runners — or at least giving them a few words of encouragement — as they came through.
Everyone helped out, including some friends who ran their races then came back for the fun. I was inspired by so many who kept running or walking, even when they were obviously suffering.
I even got to run for the last four miles with my friend Angela who was running her first full marathon. She was hurting. She was miserable. And she probably wished she were anywhere but on that race course.
Yet, she just kept going. All the way to the finish line.
In the end, she and our friend Dena celebrated their accomplishment: they joined the marathoners club.
As for the guy and his Vaseline-needing nipple. He was on mile 22 of his marathon when his chaffing got so bad that he stopped by our table to see if we had Vaseline. I went to hand him the stuff on a popsicle stick when he lifted his shirt, pointed to the spot and I, well, swabbed it.
He thanked me and ran off. It’s not what I had in mind when I signed up to volunteer, but I did say that I wanted to pay it back for all of the people who have helped me during all of my races. Can I consider that debt paid now?
Have you ever needed Vaseline for race-day chaffing? Have you volunteered at a cheer tent? What’s the weirdest thing you have seen on a run or race?