Gatorade! Water! Gatorade! Water!
These were likely the most-heard words at the water and aid station 7 miles in to the Brookings Marathon at 8:30 a.m. May 14.
“We’re waking up the neighbors,” said Nancy Flynn, a volunteer who lives close to the aid station, as she cheered on runners. “It takes guts to stand here and ring a cow bell, but they seem to be enjoying it.”
The weekend races have almost 1,000 runners participating. The 5K and kids marathon were run in the evening May 13. The full, half and relay marathon started at 7 a.m. May 14 at Pioneer Park, where they also finish.
Flynn has been volunteering at the Brookings Marathon for five years.
“It’s exciting to watch masses of people coming,” Flynn said as she looked westward down 5th Street. “I just like getting people excited about stuff.”
On the corner of 5th Street and 8th Avenue, Flynn was part of a group of people handing out drinks to the runners.
Sydnie Bentaas, a seventh-grader from Brookings, was also volunteering – making it her second or third year, she said.
“It’s kind of nice to have a few extra helpers,” Bentaas said. “And it gives me a reason to yell.”
Bob Broschat and his wife live in the area as well, and they’ve volunteered for multiple years. Broschat said they “want to help the runners.”
According to the Marathon Spectator Guide, the Brookings Marathon started in 1970, and almost 400 volunteers make it happen every year.