This past weekend, I was able to have my first real volunteer experience at a race. As a new member of the DC Road Runners club, I was eager to give back and support the club through volunteering. I signed up to volunteer at the 8k and for an added bonus, I had a couple of friends running in the race (Mar and Jenny!). This was a smaller, club race (about 100 participants) and I thought it’d be fun to volunteer at a race where I’d be able to personally cheer on every racer. And it was!
I received my volunteer assignment a few days before the race. I was to be stationed about a half mile in the course to keep runners safe from any traffic that might cross their path. This was the perfect job for me. I got to cheer on each runner (I love cheering on runners) and I got to make cars stop so I could get my runners across the street safely (I love telling people what to do :)). It was awesome. Once I arrived at the race, I checked in, and went to scope out my spot.
I settled in and waited for the lead runners. I figured my lead runners would come through about three minutes in and then they’d come back (the course was an out and back with a loop in the middle) around 35 minute into things. I was right! Shortly after the leads, I got to see both Mar and Jenny – yay! I saw the rest of the runners come through and then waited for the leads. While I waited, I did some of my PT exercises (I’m sure I looked crazy) and tried to stay warm. Before I knew it, the leads were coming back! They were flying! From then on, it was a steady stream of runners. I cheered for each of them and a number of them stopped to say thanks, which was so nice. People were in good spirits and I got quite a few high fives. Soon enough, Mar and Jenny were coming back through and I was (kind of) able to get a picture of them!
I waited a bit longer and then when the last runner came through, I walked back to the start. Mar had hung around so we chatted for a bit while I warmed up in her toasty car. All in all, it was a fun morning volunteering and I can’t wait to do it again!
Have you ever volunteered at a race? How was your experience?