Saturday, September 24

5k from a volunteer point of view

This morning I woke up before dawn, had a coffee, and rushed out the door to the starting line of a race.

But I wasn't running.

So why would I wake up at an ungodly hour for a race I'm not running?
I volunteered at the Seafood Festival 5k. In the process I got a behind-the-scenes peek at race-day. I also got a pretty sweet tech t-shirt to add to my collection.

I worked the packet/t-shirt pickup table for an hour and a half, helped set out food, then moved over to the finish line to hand out waters. A couple of things I noticed:

  • The post-race party area is eerily calm between the start and finish of the race. In all my years of running, I've never seen the food tables without a gaggle of sweaty, chatty runners around. While the runners were out on the course, the place looked like a ghost town.

The snacks: calm before finish-line chaos begins.
  • Spectators have no shame about helping themselves to post-race goodies intended for the runners and walkers. Seriously, people, unless I see a bib number, the koozies are not for you! Get your paws off!
The finish-line water station.
  • It is pretty fantastic to watch the winner cross the finish line. Unless you're a spectator (or the winner) this is a sight runners rarely witness.
The winner.
So my overall perspective on volunteering: I'm tired (from less than 5 hours of sleep last night), soaked (from handing out water), and I'm in desperate need of another cup of coffee. But being behind-the-scenes gave me a different perspective on the race experience, plus I got a free t-shirt, so it was a morning well-spent.


  1. That's awesome, sounds like fun (and a great way to get involved in the community)! :) Sounds like a good morning!

  2. What a great point of view. Watching others meet their fitness goals kind of motivates me. My parents volunteered for my 2nd marathon and I must say it was hard work for them but I WAS SO HAPPY to see them at mile 18!

    Get Up & Go

  3. It's cool to see things from another perspective. It makes you appreciate what the volunteers do for the runners on race day.


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