Give Back to Get Inspired

16 Sep

Lately my weekends have been busy with 20 mile runs, computer work, training clients, and learning new fitness routines. I have been extremely busy, but everyone’s busy so why shouldn’t I make time to volunteer? One of my goals this year was to give back. I wanted to start getting involved with charities as I have in years past but to make more significant impact in 2013. I started this year with leading a run group, I then committed to raise $3000 for the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society to run the Nike San Francisco marathon, and I became the Run Club Chair for the Jingle Bell Run for the Arthritis Foundation.

A few weeks ago I was asked to be the lead volunteer for the Abebe International Marathon and Half Marathon this past weekend in Washington, DC on behalf of DC Capital Striders.  I received a list of people who had agreed to hand out water and gatorade to the runners. The task seemed simple enough, all I had to do was show up and make sure there was enough people to give out drinks.

A few days before the race, I started to receive several emails from volunteers stating that they would no longer be able to volunteer for numerous reasons . The day before the race I received a call from the race director to start an hour earlier for the marathoners that wanted an early start.  He called again to ask me if I would have one of my volunteers be the turnaround official from 8am until the last one finishes. He then called me back to tell me the last finisher would be about 7 hours. I then received an email that I would need to help with clean up. The morning of the race I received a phone call that there was bridge construction that would make my commute an hour instead of 15 minutes.  Finally the last volunteer called to say she wouldn’t make it. I could have given up, but I found friends who gave up their Saturday to help make a difference. Two of my friends even brought their kids, and their beautiful little girls held a gatorade in one hand and water for all of the runners.  It all came together! We created a great team and it was at mile 21 that I realized how lucky I was to be assisting these athletes in achieving an amazing fete. 

I saw two gentlemen with Marathon Maniacs shirts. I knew about this group of crazy marathoners because my running buddy is part of the organization. To qualify at the Bronze Level (the lowest level) of Marathon Maniacs, you have to run 2 marathons within a 16 day timeframe. To achieve Titanium Level status, one has to run 52 marathons in 365 days. I guess that’s why they are called Maniacs, okay Marathon Maniacs! I asked the one gentleman to tell me more about his marathon experience. Below in the picture I am featured with two extraordinary runners,  Edward Broadnax and Tamy Massie. Edward Broadnax is a Marathon Maniac who has run 49 marathons this year and he had already completed his goal of running a marathon in every state. Tammy Massie has run fourteen 100 milers. One of these ultras was the Death Valley ultra which was 135 miles of trails in Death Valley in 127 degree weather.  The conversation I had with both of them made me feel honored to serve them water and gatorade. I then realized how lucky I was to have great friends who volunteered and how lucky I was to be able to help these athletes achieve their goals.

Volunteering isn’t always easy, but it is amazing to be able to help others achieve their goals.  It has inspired me to give my all in my upcoming marathon and I hope it inspires you to do something amazing!  Image


Live Your Best Life Now, Don’t Wait Another Second…

In Health and Happiness,


Madeline Dolente

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