For the third year in a row, my school has operated a cheer station along the route of the Memphis marathon. Wanda Shaw, the Spanish teacher at MASE, has devoted her time and energy to this project and made it an important part of MASE tradition. Our students don't just show up to support the runners; they are also there to help the children and families of St. Jude.
There are 25 cheer stations along the marathon's course, and ours is station 25. By the time the runners have made it to us, they are either exhausted with the effort of running 25 miles or exhilarated by the prospect that they are almost done with the race. One way or another, they are grateful to see us cheering, see our dancers, and hear the booming tattoo of our drum crew.
That's what makes our cheer station different from the rest. MASE brings out its drum crew to keep up the adrenaline of the runners. The runners can hear the throb of our bass drum echoing down Danny Thomas Boulevard long before they see us, and more than one has told us that their flagging spirits have been buoyed by the beat of our drums.
All of us show up to support all of the runners, but this year I was cheering especially hard for Justin Burks (also known as the Chubby Vegetarian) who was running the marathon for Team Suzanne. He finished in under 4:45, and I could not be happier.
See you all next year!
|The MASE drum contingent|
|The MASE dancers|
|The Chubby Vegetarian|
|Ms Shaw, who is responsible for the success of the MASE cheer station.|