Saturday, May 14, 2011

MC Miles for Moffitt

Earlier this week I was nominated, by Tom and B.o.b., to volunteer at the Miles for Moffitt 5 mile/5k race on Saturday, May 14Th. The race coordinator was looking for someone who would be willing to call out runners names as they crossed the finish line. Who me? Talk with a microphone in front of a large crowd. I couldn't do something like that without a script. Yeah right. Right up my alley some would say.

Miles for Moffitt is a race used to raise money for cancer research at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Check this link for more information.

I showed up early for my assignment much to the surprise of some fellow BRA runners. I was not having to run so there was no need to drag the morning along. I was given a cordless mic, a laptop on a table, a chair and plenty of shade. There was a timing mat about 50 feet short of the finish line which would send the runners names to the laptop. This would be easy. Just read the names on the screen. Got it. So I thought.

The 5 milers were off and running. About 30 minutes later the 5ker's were sent on their way. I then began to notice that there were lots of runners. I mean lots of runners. That would be lots of names. Oh boy.

The first runners from the 5 miler were now coming in. This was easy. First and last names. Maybe even their home town and a short bio. About 20 minutes later the chaos began. Now there were numerous runners coming in. Groups of runners. Names flashing all over the screen.

Matthew Kinback, Tampa, FL. Rick Brown, Valrico, FL. Pedro Meraz, Wesley Chapel, FL. Jessica Kennedy, Leesburg, FL. Marcia McCormick, New Port Richey, FL. Mark Courchane, Tampa, FL. Brian Zipler, Michael Coyne, Holly Logan, Hillary Adams, Taisiya Tribushnaya (WTH), Bill, Jim, Patricia, Tom, Karen, Chris, Patricia, Karen, John, Lisa, Sara, Amanda, Andrea, Amanda, Elton, Jess, Patricia, Seleighna, Xiomara, Bridgett, Kelsey, Stephen, Steven, Cass, Nancy, Steve, Patricia, Laverne, Shirley, Meckalekahineyho and then it just got crazy. I was just making names up. So many people were popping up on the laptop that I just yelled out, "Give a shout out for this big group of runners. You know who you are."

All kidding aside, I will admit that again I was humbled by watching people finish a race. Whether they were running or walking, I saw finishers who were crying and/or jumping for joy as they crossed the finish line. I didn't know if they were crying because of a self goal or maybe a family member or friend may have a cancer related illness. And for that moment I was able to share their joy/pain by calling their name out and witnessing their accomplishment. I would definitely like to call their names out again next year. I won't wait to be asked. A special thanks to B.o.b. and Tom for thinking of me when the request was put out there.

Now to the Ironman training. After the Moffitt race, 10:30 a.m., I went to Flatwoods and ran 8 miles in the blistering heat. My training is coming along and I will start ramping it up a little. 23 weeks to go.

Toll booths are.....


  1. Great job Walter, not just with the calling of names (everyone who heard their name thought they were special), but also for running an extra few afterwards. The FL sun is no place to practice unless you want to really get better. I hope to join you out there soon.

  2. Nice job Walter - sorry I missed it. I am sure you were awesome! The ones that are not early in the group are the important ones to should out as you know! Very inspirational. Keep that training up! Stay healthy!

  3. I thought I was hearing a lot of Patricia's...
    You should have said something about how that first mat was confusing everyone - they thought they were finished when they still had a ways to go.

  4. Patricia is a very popular name. ;-D lol! And you would think Laverne & Shirley would be out there too. And great job on pronouncing "Meckalekahineyho" ;-D
    You did well!

  5. Microphones are for sissies. I just yell. Ha ha! Just kidding. I admire you for sitting there for hours and hours calling out people's names. And agreeing to do it again next year. You know that race has been around for more than two decades, and there's a reason why they were looking for someone to do your job at the last minute. I am betting it's because nobody else wanted to do it again. So kudos to you for being willing to put in the time.... and to log 8 hot miles. I know how hot it was because I ran after the races, too. Uggggh! Nice job and nice attitude!