As runners made their way just a few blocks from the finish, volunteer Rick Booth tried to make brief eye contact with those struggling to finish.
“C’mon now — way to finish strong!” he shouted as he clapped his hands as half-marathon competitors moved past.
He began the day at Seventh and Franklin streets as a course marshal, directing motorists away from runners. He finished at Eighth and Washington as a cheerleader, taking that task as seriously as the first.
“I ran the last two years, and everyone was so happy and so positive that I thought I should come and maybe cheer people on just a little bit,” he said. “I just want to give them a little bit of a lift.
“And you can see when they hear you. Sometimes, you can notice just a little spring in their step.”
— Brian Blair