You Think Running a Race is Awesome? Try Volunteering

Posted on December 15 2017

By Ambassador Craig Halverson

I am the captain of my work place volunteer program. What I do is contact local race directors, and organize a group of volunteers to attend each event, and then my company awards a grant to the race charity! So far this year, my team has helped at more than 30 events. These events have ranged from trail runs, marathons, stair challenges, and even some non running events too. 

I’ve taken so many of my employees who didn’t even know about running races to help volunteer at these events and now a lot of them even participate in the races! Every race event we volunteer at, I try to get another of my employees involved in the running. It’s so fun to see them try their best, and since our team is out there volunteering already, it’s like they have their own cheering squad. These volunteering events have helped raise morale at work, and we have been able to bond outside of the workplace too. 

As a runner, watching the runners from the volunteer standpoint can be so motivating. We see all levels of runners at each event, from elite to beginner. Every runner is out there trying their best and being out there to cheer each runner on or provide them with aid is really awesome. I always appreciate what the volunteers have done for me at a race, so being able to be that person for another runner is super rewarding. 

Finally, these races would be very hard to organize and regulate without the help of volunteers. There honestly wouldn’t be as many races all over the country without so many amazing people volunteering. I often volunteer at races that I participate in too. The Nebraska Marathon, for instance, I wanted to run and help at a water station. The race has a 5k, half and full marathon distance. I chose to run the 5k so I could finish and then quickly make it to the water stop I was assigned. I ran my fastest 5k (I even won first place overall)  and then was able to run and provide aid and motivation for the full marathon runners. This race experience was so rewarding on both aspects as a runner and volunteer.  

Please consider volunteering in your community and get your family and friends involved too. It’s a great way to motivate yourself, and help provide motivation for other runners. Help organize a team or check your workplace for volunteer programs!