A Thank You to Race Volunteers

In order for a runner to run a great race, so many things to go right. For example, a runner must have had months (or years) of solid training, injuries leading up to the race have to heal quickly, the runner must be careful not to get sick in the days leading up to the race, the weather must not be too hot, too cold, or too windy, and the runner must stay relaxed and focused throughout the race.

In addition to these factors, it is important to realize that a runner has no control over one of the most important contributors to a good race: the willingness of race volunteers to give their time to ensure that the race happens in the first place.

The presence of race volunteers can sometimes be overlooked by runners, but there would be no race without the willingness of these people to get up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning to perform their duties.

These duties include such humble tasks as handing out race packets, setting-up tables, installing fencing along the course, standing at intersections to guide runners, staffing water stations, reading off split times, keeping runners moving through the finish line, and cleaning up garbage after the race.

Sometimes race volunteers play the critical role of helping dehydrated and injured runners obtain medical assistance. As shown by the recent events at the Boston Marathon, volunteers must be ready for everything – it was simply amazing to watch the Boston Marathon volunteers jump into harm’s way to assist the victims of the bombings.

There is no doubt that runners owe race volunteers a huge debt of gratitude. So the next time that you run a race, be sure to say thank you to these folks who give their time so that you can have a great time. Also consider giving back and volunteering at future races.

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