By Lindsay Starr Platt, The Belton Journal
On Saturday afternoon a casual hamburger and hotdog luncheon was hosted at Dead Fish Grill for an awards ceremony for the volunteers of the Army Marathon. Attendees enjoyed their meals as they got a chance to visit with other volunteers that all were part of this year’s Army Marathon which was in March. The Army Marathon is a 26.2 mile race ran from Killeen to Temple and volunteers came from each community in droves to help make the event successful.
“We could not do this event with out the volunteers. They have a sense of duty, which is so motivating, they volunteer with so much love.” said Ed Bandas, race director, The Army Marathon. “I have people say ‘that we have the best volunteers on a race course’ and this is coming from professional racers, that travel the country and beyond running marathons. It might be as simple as handing a runner a cup of water, but really you are letting the runner grab the cup of water and keep going.”
The awards presented that day were for: Best City Participation, Best Cheering Organization, Best Water Stop, Best Water Stop Runner-up. Winners representing the groups or organizations stepped up to receive their plaques or trophies as attendees cheered.
“It’s a great opportunity to support the runners and get our name out there, about how we help people get through tragedies,” commented Chris Thrasher, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
Carol Kimmel, Team Red, White and Blue, said, “We volunteered at the finish line. You can just see the feeling when a runner crosses the finish line. To see the looks on their faces. We even help bring runners across the finish line, that didn’t make time. That drive to finish the course regardless. We were crying when they were crying. I want to do it again, being a volunteer you get to see the race not just as a runner.”
Bandas thanked everyone that came out for their help and participation. And said, we have had pro runners say they have seen no better volunteers, ever.