Sunday, June 7, 2009

Volunteering at Hudson 15K race

Saturday I worked as a volunteer for the 15K Race for the Parks in Hudson. I would have preferred to run the race, but I had to put my 3 hours of volunteering work, a requirement for running the Buckeye 50K race in July. This was the first time I have worked as a volunteer at a race and it was an interesting experience.

I was assigned at the last water stop, in the entrance of a park, before mile 8 (entrance) and around mile 9 (exit). Working with me were chef Bill and a guy named Zachary. Zachary is a tall guy in his early 30s, very nice fellow. He looked familiar. Only later, when I got home, I realized that he is Zachary Lewis, the guy who writes a fitness column in Plain Dealer’s Health section. My wife is an avid reader of the paper and she often tells me about Zachary’s articles. So, I worked on the table with a celebrity, without knowing it.

Since we were only 3 people, handing two types of drinks (Gatorade or water) in two different directions (entry and exit from the park) we were not sure we could handle the job, but “traffic” was low and the weather cool, so things went well.

With this new experience, I now know what’s the best runner’s behavior from a volunteer’s point of view: 1) If you don’t want a drink, just say “no, thanks”. 2) If you want a specific drink, just say “water” or “Gatorade” and try to make eye contact with the person you will grab the cup from. This really helps reduce the anxiety of the volunteers who are eager to serve the runners.


Sensationally Red said...

Glad you are blogging again! I think I enjoy volunteering races as much as I do running them! I think it makes someone a better know both perspectives..runner and volunteer.

DrT said...

Very well said! Thanks Red!

kccat said...

I volunteer at races too and it really does give you a whole new perspective on racing. I am much more appreciative of the work volunteers put in to make these races work now. Good job on the volunteer work.