This morning I was able to volunteer for a local 5k, with 3,000 plus participants. I have never volunteered at a race before only particicpated in them. I had no idea what to expect. I arrived at around 6:15 in the morning to help set up for the event. Wow! These people are pros! They knew exactly what they have to do to keep everything running on time. I felt like I was in the way as I had no clue what I was doing. I met up with another first time volunteer and we were responsible for making the chutes at the end of the race. It took us quite awhile but we finished.
My next task was to work the packet pick-up booth and hand out t-shirts. There were a ton of volunteers ready to help. We came across some packets that were missing but they were able to get squared away with new timing chips and numbers. One thing I learned about this is, arrive as early as you can to pick your packet up just in case there is a problem with it and a new number can be reassigned no questions ask. Or better yet, pick your packet up the day before if you can. One gentleman who is very well-known in the Seattle running world came about 5 minutes before the start time and we could not find his packet. I looked up his name and couldn't find it. I let him look up his name and he couldn't find it. I directed him to someone who could help him and he tossed my list he was holding at me. RUDE!!!! Here is a little nugget of advice: COME EARLY TO YOUR EVENT JUST IN CASE THERE IS A PROBLEM!!
The last thing I did was to cut time chips off of shoes. This was really fun and not as bad as it looks. I was able to watch the first runners cross the line and congratulate them! Wow! They are amazing! This job also allows you to watch many first time racers cross the finish line for the first time. Watching that is just as inspiring!
Everyone should volunteer at least once!!!
10 Reasons why you should volunteer for a local race:
1. You get to know what goes on behind the scenes of a race: what it takes to get it set-up, take-down and everything in between.
2. Most race participants are extremely polite and you will hear a ton of "thank-yous' during your volunteer time.
3. You get a free t-shirt!
4. You may even be rewarded with a free entry to an upcoming race.
5. You get to witness those who are extremely rude to volunteers because there has been a mistake with their registration. (I only saw a few of those today)
6. You are able to eat the food if you so wish.
7. You get to watch the first speedy racer to cross the finish line.
8. You get to watch a ton of people complete their first race with smiles on their faces.
9. Yout get to meet a ton of new people who are passionate about what they do and want to give back to the sport.
10. You get to wake up even earlier than if you were actually participating in the event!
Taking a break - if you hadn't noticed, I'm taking a bit of a break from blogging to pursue a new passion. Don't worry, I'm still doing ultra running. For now, you can catc...
9 months ago