FFF: Everyone Should Volunteer at Races More Often


I really appreciate volunteers.  They are often responsible for the success of a race.  They direct runners at all the turns, give out water and medals and do it in heat and frigid temps.

I know I should volunteer more often but I am selfish.

I want to race not watch others race.

One of my goals for 2022 is to volunteer at races more often.

Here’s why you should too:

1.To network and meet other runners.

I think my favorite place to volunteer may be at packet picket up. I did that for the Freihofer’s race and I met so many new people.  Runners are the most friendly people!!

2. It’s fun and exciting.

At a local half marathon, I volunteered at the finish line.  I got to watch the winners cross as well as several friends.

3. You can often get cool swag.

Maybe not the best reason to volunteer but it’s nice to get something useful for free.

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a sweatshirt

4. You will feel appreciated.

I volunteered at this frigid marathon relay…. I was overwhelmed by the number of runners who passed me and thanked me.

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5. Runners and race directors NEED you to have a successful race.

Volunteers are needed to as course marshals to direct runners and of course, to hand out water at water stops. They are also need volunteers for setup before the race, at packet pick-up, at the finish line.  I could go on and on.  There is a job for everyone and many of these jobs can be done at a time that is convenient for you.

Happy Running! How often do you volunteer at races? Please share.

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15 thoughts on “FFF: Everyone Should Volunteer at Races More Often

    • Mentoring is important too. I do that with the STEM program and non-running related, I now volunteer with RISSE.

      I guess my title should be volunteering at a race so that races continue to happen and go smoothly. (FYI: I changed my title).

      I know I race a lot but don’t volunteer near enough. It just takes so little time and it doesn’t even have to be on race day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have volunteered at a few races. I did a lot of volunteering when I lived in TX, ot running related since I didn’t run. Kind of burned out on it. Again I had a lot going on in my life at the time & was still working, too.

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  1. I think volunteers are crucial. Like Judy said, they’re needed for more than just races. I haven’t volunteered at a race in awhile, but we used to have a local race that went by my house. I loved playing “marshal for a day,” keeping the traffic away and (most importantly) cheering on and encouraging all the runners. I also helped organize a 5K with my church for many years…that was a lot of fun, but a lot more work than most realize.

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    • We are luckier than you because we have so many local races. .. there are so many opportunities to volunteer.

      I can imagine that organizing a race is a lot of work. I hope you had a lot of volunteers then.

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  2. I volunteer at parkrun week in, week out, as well as for my running club – I used to be a (volunteer) official at cross-country races and athletics meets but had to give that up. But I’m there all week behind the scenes sorting out the volunteer roster and sending out requests for help and dealing with the responses, then there on the day doing a role, too, and I’d add my main reason, which is because it’s fun and makes you feel happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I missed the volunteers as much or more than I did the other runners. I was so glad to see Barbara at the finish of the women’s mini and Tina at, I think, the NYC Runs July 4th race. They are so important to a smooth race and someone we all see.

    Liked by 1 person

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