27 October 2012

HoBOOken 5K 2012

Listen to the Hula Guy, runners, and turn right from Sinatra Drive!
Ah, the plans of mice and men.  Originally I was going to register to run in the HoBOOken 5K with my friend Johnny.  It would be his first race so I thought he could use the support.  Then I became unemployed so I did not register and saved the $27 fee.  I still want to be there for Johnny so volunteering for the event was the next best thing.

Knowing PATH train's annoying weekend routes, I gave myself plenty of time to make the trek from Brooklyn to Hoboken.  In the past, when I needed to go from 34th Street to Newport, there would be no direct train going that way.  You would have to go to Hoboken and wait five or more minutes then you would be transported to Newport.  Today I needed to be in Hoboken but made the mistake of trying to get there via the World Trade Center station.  You guessed it, no direct train to Hoboken.  I would have to go take the Newark train to Grove Street then change switch to the other direction.  I had plenty of time and wanted to log in some distance for Team Luau in Charity Miles, so I got off at Exchange Place instead and walked about 1.7 miles, mostly along the Jersey City waterfront, to get to Hoboken.  Us runners don't mind long walks.

I visited the volunteer sign-in booth to add my name to the list and got a green event T-shirt, supposedly same design as the runners' but theirs is white.  It was only 8ish and the race was scheduled for 10, so we had a little time to get to know each other over coffee and such in a Starbucks at 12th and Hudson Streets.  It was a Halloween/costumed race, everyone, runners and volunteers/staff were to dress up.  I didn't have anything on me and took a hula before leaving Starbucks to report to my post at Mile 2, which was also something like 3/4 Mile.  I checked Facebook regularly for news from Johnny but there was no indication he made it to the registration area, which was Pier A in Hoboken.  I gave him my cell phone but there was no calls from him either.

Before long the lead runners appeared.  Along with another volunteer, I directed the runners to turn right from Sinatra Drive into Maxwell Park.  Johnny or not, I also started snapping photos of the runners.  My volunteer partner told me that there were 1,500 or so runners but soon they all streamed past my post, with a police car bringing up the rear.  Silly me, I thought there would be a few waves of runners, but I guess 1,500 is not that big a number.  On the way out, my post is like 3/4 or 0.75 mile from the start.  The runners would run along the water in Maxwell Park and further north then eventually return to my post, Sinatra Drive, to reach Mile 2.  I only had to turn around to snap some more photos.  Again the runners ran past but no sign of Johnny anywhere.  Later on I found out he left his phone in the car and did run, with a good finish time, too.  Oh well, Johnny or not, it was a good day to be out volunteering and cheering the runners!  Check out their/your photos at


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