GELS. MUSIC. ICE-COLD SPONGES. DANCING GIRLS.
They just offered water and gatorade. >Smirks<
They just offered people standing around, cheering.
We were situated at mile 1 and 5 of the out-and-back 6 mile run, and played loud happy music, handed out gels and said ice-cold sponges, purchased with team funds, along with the water and gatorade provided by the RD.
And so it was that I learned the following about my fellow athletes:
1) On a long, hot run they really appreciated happy music, especially the reggae. The loud heavy metal, not so much. Music that made people smile also included Aretha Franklin, Hey Go, Lots of stuff by Black-eyed Peas, Elvis, Bob Marley, and some others. The key was happy, with a strong beat.
2) Some of the athletes really appreciated if I danced and flirted with them to the beat of the music while offering gels. They smiled on this difficult, extremely hilly course, and looked slightly less miserable, and danced and flirted back. Especially, for some mysterious reason, the guys. Go figure.
3) A small percentage took the caffeinated gels, but it was a very grateful number that did. I stood there and yelled, "I HAVE CAFFEINE!" and they veered to me like I was magnetic.
4) The iced-cold sponges, when offered by adorable twin DP's People, were a HUGE hit.
5) Whatever it is you're giving out, you need to yell what you've got. People zone out too much to focus on what's in your hand and process whether or not they need/want it. You just shout, "I'VE GOT GELS!" and thrust it at them. Sometimes they grab it. Sometimes they don't.
6) DreadPirate is, quite often, unconscionably bossy.
Now, I'm ashamed to admit that I did break USAT rules in that I provided a service to one athlete in particular; I let him grab my butt as he went by. Since this is not something I would normally provide to other athletes, I believe it constitutes a violation of USAT rules for "outside assistance". Should he be disqualified? Only the newest assistant ref can answer that question for me...
Anyway, it's a blast, and I've decided that this is what i'm going to do each year at this race. It will be the easiest first place I've ever gotten.
Oh, and to add an addendum to Baboo's post: not only did he race in $25 shoes from WalMart, but his breakfast was poptarts and my patented cheap energy drink: Swiss Miss "Pick Me Up" with caffeine mixed with hotel drip coffee.
Who says you need a lot of money to race? Er, other than the $6k tri-bike, I mean...