I volunteered at the Lakefront Discovery Run on Saturday. It is a fun local race and starts pretty close to where I live. I purposely waited too long to sign up so that I couldn’t sign up. No more 2011 races! (I like to remind myself of this as often as I can). I just figure I should give back. I run a lot of races and know that they wouldn’t happen without the volunteers. Plus I discovered, while injured, how much fun volunteering is.
I volunteered at the Wisconsin Marathon and the Indoor Marathon earlier this year and then the Discovery Run on Saturday. Tracey asked me if I volunteer a lot. I laughed and told her she just happened to run two of the races I volunteered at this year. One of the fun parts of volunteering at local races is getting to see people you know. I saw Tracey, Annie and Rochelle before the start and then again at the finish. I also saw Ginesa and Kim at the finish.
I have been wondering what is volunteering a lot? I don’t really think volunteering at three races over the course of a year is a lot. Plus I have the time and I know how hard race directors work to get volunteers. I find it fun. I like chatting with the other volunteers. It is usually other runners, spouses and friends of runners or people who just enjoy being at the races.
At the Wisconsin Marathon I was handing out the space blankets at the finish and one of my college roommates litterally ran into my arms. I had no idea she had come up with Chicago to run it and she had no idea I was volunteering. How fun is that? I would love to run into a finisher’s shoot and see a friend.
I know not everyone has time to volunteer at races, but if you do, just think about it. Think about the races you have run and the volunteers you have encountered.