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Jun 26, 2012

My Solstice run volunteer experience

5 miles on the schedule today.  Had a really awesome run today.  Perfectly cool weather and so nice out.  I live for runs like today.  Check out the clouds on my run:
On my run - hard to believe this was taken on an iphone

As I mentioned in my review of the Solstice Run this week(Click HERE to see the full review), I decided to help the race this year by volunteering for the race.  This was the first time that I've volunteered for any race and it was a great experience.  My biggest mistake was not doing this sooner.  While I have always recognized the importance of the volunteers for any race -- if you run races, you should volunteer for races.

My job was pretty simple.  The race called for volunteers to help with packet pick up the day before the race.  Of course, because I've been to many races in the past, I pretty much knew what needed to be done but it was nice to get the experience being there for four hours.  The Solstice Run also has experienced race staff that makes things even easier for the volunteers since the staff knows what is needed to be successful.

As a volunteer, you get to see how other people, especially people who have not raced before, work through the packet pickup process.  You get to see the smiling faces of the participants and the excitement of the kids getting their shirt.  You also get to see your competition.  Haha!  I really enjoyed helping the runners and answering their race questions.
The crew at packet pickup
You will see that some of the volunteers had on blue shirts and others, like me, had on yellow shirts.  The yellow shirts were the race shirts so I figured why not wear the race shirt instead of also taking a volunteer shirt - both were the same except the color with the race logo on the front.
Volunteers hard at work
I really enjoyed meeting many of the people that I'd also be racing with the next day at the race.  I even got to talk with a couple of people that had race shirts on from other races to ask their opinion of those races.  I was in my element for sure.  I loved it.
Looking for a race bib!
Not only did I help with packet pick up but the race also needed help setting up the medals so I got a preview.  Here a picture of them on a stand one of the race volunteers made to hold them.  What a great idea!

I also helped move some boxes from packet pickup to a truck as other volunteers were getting things in order so all the supplies could be placed out on the course, the start line or the finish line.  The truck was packed with all kinds of things that the race needed to make things run smoothly.  It was surely an eye opener to see what prep work is involved in a race this size(over 3,500).  That's why the race had over 225 volunteers this year.  I can only imagine the kind of help needed for a major marathon.

My four hour shift went really fast and before I knew it, I was on my way home ready to come back for the race itself the next day.
The end of my shift
I've always tried to thank the volunteers over the last few years during the racing but now I know more than ever the importance of the race volunteers.  And lots of volunteers are needed so there is always a place for you to help.  Everyone I worked with was very nice and did whatever they could to help.  It was great to see the many high school kids volunteering as well.  Our community has a bright future with kids like this.

Have you volunteered for a race?  How was your experience?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome to give back something to our lovely sport. I've volunteered at a lot of races and always find it very rewarding.