First of all, I did not anticipate the smell. It wasn't that I thought the runners wouldn't reek after running for 26.2 miles, I just didn't know I would be in such close quarters with them. Even though they smelled awful, I'm glad I got to be next to some of them and even talk to a couple of the runners. I also didn't expect such a range of emotions - not just from the runners, but their friends and family as well. I saw tears, laughter, and people who looked like if you even tapped them that they would fall over.
Most friends and family members who were crying were doing so because of how proud they were of their loved ones, but one sad mother was basically weeping because she was not able to see her daughter cross the finish line. Call me insensitive, but aren't you happy enough that she finished the race with a relatively good time and didn't end up in the medical tent? I know it would have been great to see her finish, but I just don't see the sense in crying over that. Oh well.
As for crazy antics, I definitely did not expect to see people with crazy wigs and even dressed as clowns (see photos below). People would do the most odd things to get the attention of the runners - one woman had a giant bell that you could hear ringing from 2 blocks away. Needless to say, she was not too popular.
Mainly, I'm just happy I got to experience this madness at least once in my life. I may try again to volunteer, but if I do, I'll definitely try for a section where I can actually watch a bit of the marathon.
The Finish Line:
Where I worked:
Before the runners got in:
Some of the first runners to finish:
Runners waiting in line for the chiropractors/massages:
Adorable father-son hug:
Some of the post-run madness: