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Volunteering Era in Running Races

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74   //    Timeless

Annapurna 100 Ultra Trail Race Team and Runners 2017.
Annapurna 100 Ultra Trail Race Team and Runners 2017

Experienced race organizers know the significant value of volunteers & their roles. They are incredible and are the pivot to a successful event. Volunteers who want to invest their energy, time and passion towards giving back to the society are worth beyond price. It takes an enormous platoon to host an event and without the volunteers’ blood, toil, tears & sweat any race is impossible. Volunteers are adorable since they take their time off from friends, families and day only to ensure that the runners experience a graceful journey.

 Volunteers make the race happen! Few Areas where one can volunteer:

  1. Registration process and its Assessment
  2. Venue set up
  3. Route marking
  4. Route Recce
  5. Course Monitoring Marshals
  6. Race kit pick up
  7. Aid Station
  8. Medical station
  9. Sweeper team
  10. Baggage points
  11. Start point
  12. Finish point
  13. Information centre
  14. Recovery Centre
  15. Entertainment
  16. Security check
  17. Parking
  18. Post race Clean up
  19. Food / Beverage at finish line
  20. Photography

If you get an opportunity to volunteer you must grab it. Here’s why:

  1. Volunteering can keep you connected with the sport when you recovering or injured.
  2. Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to the community.
  3. Work together in a group for a race and end up making new friends.
  4. Experts say that when you focus on others it flushes out the tension within you, reduces stress and makes you healthier.
  5. Being a volunteer is a fun activity. Giving out those inspirational shouts & words of encouragement.
  6. Volunteering helps in saving resources.
  7. When you see a good runner it inspires.
  8. One can gain experience, learn and promote self growth and self esteem.
  9. Few race organizers give you the opportunity to earn a free race entry if you have volunteered for them.
  10. Volunteering strengthens the running community.

What you need to keep in mind while volunteering

  1. Choose your event wisely and do your research well.
  2. Mange your role with positivity, great sense of humor, happiness & make a difference.
  3. Evaluate your skills and pick a role. Then commit so you do not badger your professional or personal life.
  4. Get your friends and family to bring everyone closer and create a win-win situation.
  5. Never be afraid to ask things that you are not cognized of and be yourself.
  6. If you are handling the traffic control, ensure that your sign is facing the cars and not the runners.
  7. Put a million dollar smile on your face and cheers of encouragement when you see a runner passing by. It throws a positive energy.
  8. Hold a cup of water or energy drink on an open palm so the runners know what is it and saves time.
  9. Give the runners information about where they are on the course.
  10. When you see spectators smoking ask them to stop.
  11. Appreciate the runner’s efforts once they cross the finish line. 

Race Checklist for Volunteers

Bag pack, Sleeping bag, Pillow, Towel, Cell Phone, Phone Charger, Power bank, Sanitizer, Food- Water- Drinks, Medicines, Repellent spray, Trash Bag, Laundry bags for runner, wet wipes, Deodorant, music player, Torch / Headlamp, Tooth brush, Tooth paste, Spare Clothes & footwear, Zip locks, Fold-able chairs & table, Tent & sunglasses.

Organisers view

Very often organizers find it difficult to form a team of volunteers. Here’s how one crack it:

  1. Good place to kick start is to check with loyal volunteers who love your team and work. They will also be willing to invite their friends and family to share your passion for running event.
  2. Boost up the volunteers by providing them team gear.
  3. Tie up with sponsors and reward the volunteers with discount coupons or tickets for ancillary events.
  4. Design a Race volunteer plan and approach NGOs/ Charities.
  5. Trigger their motivation towards Sense of family, belonging & its rewards.
  6. Indulging into fitness events with all the munificent reasons to volunteer, makes an impeccable journey which you will cherish throughout your life.

Are you ready to go out and spread some good?

As always, I look forward to your comments.

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CONTRIBUTOR
1. India Ambassador for Annapurna 100 Himalayan Trail Race (Nepal) 2.First Indian in the history to accomplish Annapurna 100 Ultra Trail Marathon (2017). 3.Orange Mud Ambassador (2018) and CEP Compression India Ambassador (2017). 4.Race Director – Decathlon India (Surat) 5.Winner of Sahyadri 100, 2017 (100 miles race from Nasik to Mumbai) and Summit 3.0 (100 Miles race at Dang Forest) 6.Business Development for IndiaRunning.com which is India’s leading online community for sports enthusiasts who want to discover, learn about, share and ultimately participate in running races and related activities. 7.Holds a vast diversified industry experience in Ultra Distance Running, Sports Business Development and Sports Brand Development.
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