Volunteering: what’s it good for?

Volunteering: what’s it good for?

Absolutely Everything!

Racing relies so greatly on the dedication and generosity of volunteers. I can quite honestly say that most of my races would have never happened without them. Think about all those crucial parts of a race.. the route marking, registration, cheering stations, aid stations, marshalling, course sweeping, food preparation, etc, etc. Big parts right? Yup and guess what, all those parts are often run by volunteers. Every runner is so grateful for the time and effort given by these volunteers. I’m fortunate enough to say that my partner, Joel, and I have been able to volunteer at races the last two weekends. He leads the 3 km children’s race at the 5 Peaks Alice Lake Trail Race on June 7th and was a sweeper for the 14 km Enduro Race. We both continued on up to Whistler the following weekend and were course sweepers for the 25 km Comfortably Numb Trail Race. It was a ton of fun encouraging runners, picking up flags, and running the same course as all the racers! Great people, a beautiful trail to run, great prizes and a rewarding experience for all. It was so nice to be able to give back to our running community.

Volunteering 101:

  • Who? Anyone! It’s a great opportunity for non-runners to be part of the experience and be part of the wonderful running community.
  • What? Anything! Okay not really. but it just went with the flow. Hahaha. Major volunteer positions consist but are not limited to: course sweeping, registration, trail marking, food preparation, cheering stations, aid stations and marshalling.
  • When? Anytime! Running races are going on throughout the year. Primarily in the spring, summer and fall though. Races often take place in the morning so you will not need to lose your evening.. or even afternoon sometimes!
  • Where? Anywhere! Throughout the Lower Mainland, there is basically a race every weekend, you just need to choose one.
  • Why? Endless reasons! You will help the organizers host an amazing race! You will help the runners be able to run in the race by showing them where to go, making sure they are safe, have their race bibs, get fed and hydrated and are supported with encouragement! You will meet lots of great friendly people, be outdoors in the fresh air, be healthy and active and engage in your community. And most importantly, give back! Oh, and if you need to be bribed, sometimes you even get swag!
  • How? Choose a race and contact the organizers. Websites are a great tool to find contact information and apply to be a volunteer! Make sure you keep in contact with your organizer, show up for your volunteer shift because, yes, you are being counted on and enjoy it!

Have I convinced you yet? I hope so! I hope to see you out on the trails so I can give you big thank you!

Shannon Penway
Kintec Race Team

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