Marathon volunteers brave the cold for hours

Volunteers find warmth in their hearts helping others

Author: Tarik Minor, Anchor-reporter, tminor@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 17 2013 12:03:21 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -

On one of the coldest mornings of the year, it wasn't only freezing for the runners in Donna'a 26.2 marathon for breast cancer. It was also a frigid challenge for hundreds of volunteers who dedicated their time and energy.

"I was a little nervous, I had to put my long johns on this morning when I watched the forcast. It is so cold" said Olivia Davis, a volunteer from the Mayo Clinic.

Olivia Davis and other volunteers helped stretch runners after the marathon. Runners today were cramping up more than usual because their bodies aren't accustomed to the cold.

'The runners get more stiff, and today they are more likely to cramp because of the cold. We are getting a lot more cramps today" said Davis. 

Volunteers weren't the only ones wearing layer upon layer. Family members and friends supporting runners braved the chilly temps for hours on end as well. But the volunteers by far had a much longer day working shifts from 7am - 3pm.

Volunteers say it's all worth it.

"My daughter is a cancer survivor and I'm doing it in her honor. The cold has been very invigorating let me tell you, it's a thrill to be doing this" said Mary Mortensen.

For some reason, volunteers say the national marathon to fight breast cancer in Jacksonville always ushers in the arctic air.

"The Donna race is the coldest of the year, they don't plan it like that, but it always seems to happen. People are still volunteering having a good time" said volunteer Tom Bucher.

"I just bundled up and I have layer after layer on here, and I'm keeping warm. I've got on my cross country ski pants underneath here, I'm nice and warm” said volunteer Robert Beringer.

Volunteers say they did find some warmth today in their hearts, giving back.