The running community is awesome. Runners are so supportive of each other at every level it’s amazing. One of the best way many of us give back to the community that supports us so much is by volunteering at a race, or more, each year. I try to pitch in at least a few times during race season and will be at the Wicked 10k expo tomorrow for four fun hours of packet pickup.
I regularly volunteer at EquiKids and it is unbelievably rewarding to see riders progress over time. While handing out some t-shirts or race numbers doesn’t quite have the same impact, it is important. Without runners ready to not only race but help the race directors out, many of us wouldn’t be able to afford to participate. Paying someone for volunteering would skyrocket the costs of putting on an event. That would, of course, be passed on to the runners and I’m pretty sure most of our race related pocket books aren’t overflowing.
With a wide variety of volunteering choices available to those who want to give back, opportunities abound. I typically choose to help out the day before the race with packet pickup or set up. This makes it easy to run the race myself or be there for the athletes I coach. It also doesn’t hurt that I can often fit it in during the middle of the day. Other options include Start Line, bag check, Finish Line, course marshals and water stops. There’s something that will fit any schedule limitation you can think of. No excuses!
Volunteering at a race is something everyone who runs one should consider. It’s the perfect chance to give back to the community that gives you so much. You might even meet your new best runner friend.
What’s your favorite spot for race volunteering?