If you were to ask someone to wake up before dawn to do a little volunteer work… it would take a dedicated and committed person to step up to the challenge. But when lululemon athletica Ala Moana store manager Corey came calling, a group of Honolululemons woke up bright and early to support the local running community in Hawaii.
It was the Norman Tamanaha 15K, the first race of the 2009 Marathon Readiness Series, five events preparing athletes training for the Honolulu Marathon in December. Our job was to set up and man two of the water stations. As the sun began peeking above the mountains, we filled and stacked cup after cup after cup of water, gearing up for the wave of people that would soon crush upon us. As the first runners started approaching, we recognized one of our ambassadors, triathlete Rachel Ross. We started cheering and yelling to help give Rachel and the other runners the extra burst of motivation they needed to finish the 15K. As throngs of runners whizzed by us, water cups sloshed from hand to hand, and shouts of encouragement echoed in the air. What surprised us the most was how grateful everyone was for our support. We heard shouts of “Thanks!” “Mahalo!” and “Go lululemon!” All because we were helping these runners stay hydrated.
It seemed like we were the ones who should have been thanking the runners for allowing up to be just a small part of the race, for inspiring us to lace up our shoes for the next run, for giving us a chance to bond with each other outside of the lululemon store walls. A lesson learned… that while we were supporting our community, they were supporting us at the same time.