Volunteering at the Frostbite 5 Miler

20 02 2010

Photo Credit: Jeff Lofton

Today I had an opportunity to volunteer at a race put on by my running club.  It was my first time volunteering at a race rather than running in it and one heck of an experience!

I have seen my share of good volunteers (those who offer support and are actively cheering you on) and bad volunteers (those who stand there with their hands in their pockets staring at everyone) so I knew what I wanted as a runner and I tried my best to exhibit those actions.

My position on the course was around .3 miles into the race at a turn and I clapped and told everybody good job.  Nothing too special but at least I was trying.  After the 1,200 plus runners and walkers went past I made my way over to my next position, about 4/5 of the way up a huge hill, .4 miles from the finish.  Not only was I at a point where everybody was going to struggle (the end) but their efforts were magnified by the hill.

Clapping, cheering, and encouraging words are what I brought to the table and I think that I did a pretty good job.  I received quite a few “thank you’s” and many people (mainly at the back of the pack) went from walking to running again after seeing/hearing me.

There were quite a few people racing as part of Back On My Feet and it was so inspiring to see people who most people count out (the homeless) engaging in running as a means to build confidence, strength, and self-esteem.  I’ve actually been thinking about running as a part of the organization in one of my races this fall and this encounter may have pushed me even closer to joining them.

To all the runners out there, I highly recommend volunteering as a course marshal sometime.  You know exactly what encourages you when you are racing so why not take a little time to give back to the running community and volunteer?

Be sure to check out two great race reports from two women who ran the race and whose blogs I follow.  Here is a link to Denise’s Race Report and to Leslie’s Race Report.

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4 responses

20 02 2010
BorisT

I’ve never volunteered at a race before but I do think it is about time.

Cheers on the great work!

21 02 2010
David Yingling

It’s surprisingly rewarding BorisT! I’m definitely planning on doing it more.

21 02 2010
Denise

so sorry i missed you. i was pretty focused at that point!! that last hill is a killer. thanks for being out there cheering us on, though. i love volunteering but for frostbite, i have to volunteer on friday night because i love racing this course so much!

21 02 2010
David Yingling

haha no worries Denise! You were very focused and I would have been too, especially at that point in the race. The course looked AMAZING! I am definitely planning to volunteer the night before next year so that I can run it myself.

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