Water Buffalo

July 6, 2008

Kyle and I offered to volunteer at a race the day after we got back from Florida. We really had no idea what we would be doing, but we showed up at 6:30 AM ready to help. Once we found the person coordinating the volunteers, he asked us to go with 2 guys from the water authority, who had a ‘Water Buffalo,’ to hand out cups of water at one of the water stops along the course. As soon as the words Water Buffalo fell from Pete’s lips, Kyle and I both giggled and started humming ‘Everybody’s Got a Water Buffalo‘…

Turns out a Water Buffalo is a tank that holds 500 gallons of water.

We filled all the cups with a hose and a couple of pitchers.

Here are the two silly guys from the Water Authority that gave us the water as well as a hand.

If you have never handed out water to thirsty runners, you should give it a whirl. Our stop got hit twice, once about 1 mile into the race, and a second time somewhere around mile 5. There is a definite art to holding out a cup for a runner who is really thirsty, but doesn’t want to slow enough to get a drink. I wore the first couple of cups. Some runners indicate to you that they are going to take a cup by making eye contact, pointing, yelling yes, or something. Others simply run up looking very much as though they are going to pass through, then at the last minute they grab. The grabbing runners are the most difficult, as you want to offer, but not get run over. Without a clear indicator of whether they want the water or not it is difficult to not get soaked if they do decide to take it, as there is no time to lead them, they just snatch it!

My two favorite runners where the one that yelled just throw it on me, so all four of us did, and the lady who took a cup from the first guy (who was in front of me), took half a sip, and threw the cup on my foot as she ran by. Speaking of throwing cups, no matter where the garbage can is, runners won’t use it. They toss their cups where they finish drinking. Some are kind enough to drop the cup on the edge of the path, while others lob them into the tall grass along the sides of the path. I’m really glad there wasn’t any poison ivy there, as I was up to my neck in weeds a few times, trying to dislodge a cup.

Many of the runners thanked us for volunteering as they ran through. They seemed truly thankful that we were there to offer water and support. Runners, although competing against one another, seem to be very supportive of their fellow runners. There seems to be a lot of camaraderie.

While waiting for the race to start, a gold finch flew by. I took its picture, but when I looked at the picture, I couldn’t figure out why I took a picture of this tree…can you find the finch?


  1. Is the bird flying in the shadows on the left side of the photo?

    Other: “So, what does your daughter do for a living?”

    Me: “Well, she is kinda weird…”

    Other: “Oh, and how is that?”

    Me: “She is an overnight baker and water buffalo”

    Other: “Oh” as they slowly walk away…….

    Athletic people often don’t regard others with a lot of respect. Seems like their image, timing, etc, etc. is of the utmost importance. Lowly plebians are just there to serve….So, it sounds like fun. And, what a secret delight it must have been, dousing that woman!!! bwwaaaahhhhahahahahahah!!!!!

  2. Actually, the finch is sitting just to the left of center at the top of the tree in the foreground.

    Gee, thanks Mom! I know I’m kinda weird, but YOU didn’t have to admit that!

    These runners were actually quite pleasant. I enjoyed handing out water to them. You just have to be very quick and careful, unless you WANT to get wet!

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