This archived article was written by: Emma Rowley
Giving service is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Getting attacked by mosquitoes is one of the most frustrating. When you combine the two which one will come out on top? On Saturday September 7th volunteers from USU SUN Center got to participate in both of these scenarios.
17 volunteers met at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center at 5:30 in the morning to leave for the Mammoth Marathon service project. The Mammoth Marathon is made up of three separate races; a full marathon, a half marathon and a 10k. Over four hundred people participated in the marathon this year. The volunteer’s job was to stand at twelve different stations and hand the runners water, GU, or bananas as they ran by. The race starts at 6:30 a.m., and typically goes until 1:00 p.m., or however long it takes the runners to finish.
Normally the participants get to experience one of the prettiest runs in Utah. There are striking red rocks, deserts and even some petroglyphs to see as you run by. A few of the runners even had cameras strapped on their backs and would periodically stop to take pictures. This year, however, had more to offer than the pretty view. This year the runners and volunteers had to deal with huge, vicious, mammoth mosquitoes.
The volunteers drove two vans down and would stop and drop two people off at each station. It did not take long for the mosquitos to find their breakfast. One driver said “I had barley dropped volunteers off and I was getting phone calls from them that said ‘Please come get me! Mosquitoes are everywhere!’ I didn’t think it was that serious until I saw Wyntre.”
Wyntre Pierce’s phone call was a little more urgent, “Ummm can you come get me? I can’t breathe!” She had over 50 mosquito bites all over her legs, and at least 50 more on her arms, face and back. Pierce was quickly taken to get Benadryl and then taken home. Two days later the bites were still itching and burning so she went to the clinic and had to receive a shot. Pierce is also required to go back to the clinic for West Nile testing and says that “It’s a day I’ll never forget.”
So the answer is that when you combine a fun day of service and mosquito craze you end up with a memory that will last forever.