It was an early start for the volunteers at Water Stop #10 on Philadelphia Marathon Day November 23. Already waiting in the darkness to begin work at 6 am at the water stop location on Kelly Drive in East Falls was a van full of students from Dock High School in Lansdale.

Everyone sprang into action at 6:15 when the truck with all the supplies was opened. Tables had to be erected, Gatorade had to be mixed, cups had to be filled, boxes had to be broken down. That was phase I.

Phase II began when the runners started to show up at 8:30. By then, most of the volunteers had shown up. The line-up included Wanderers, Dock High School students, Penncrest High School students, middle schoolers from Friends Central and some local veteran volunteers who had been helping at this site for many years.

At first business was very light. A few isolated elite runners charged by. With every minute, the numbers grew until 9:30 when volunteers were passing out liquids to swarms of runners coming in both directions (our stop was at the 18 and 22-mile mark depending on which direction you were running in). Raking, garbage pickup and vocal support were all added to the volunteers duties at this point.

Everyone was a total star for volunteering. But a few volunteers got two stars for superlative performance.

  • Matt Mauren performed the thankless job of organizing, sorting and bagging the garbage. Mr. Clean could not have done a better job!!
  • Jim Trainor came to the rescue again with jumper cables at the end of the race when the battery of the Technovan went dead.
  • Jacob Guttenplan from Dock High School prevented the same fate from happening to the supply truck. While runners were racing past, Jacob noticed that the supply truck’s lights were still on, and he made sure the lights were turned off before the battery went dead.
  • Sharon Schmidt showed her Ironwoman endurance by pouring water non stop throughout the race.

The water stop closed up shop at a little after 1 pm. The site was spotless, and runners seemed to be satisfied with the service. Everyone did a great job! See you all next year!!