Volunteering at Races

Running, unlike the 'big' sports which pay employees, runs on volunteers at nearly every level. Almost all the workers at local XC meets are volunteers, as are the ones at most marathons. Even the high school coaches work nearly free - certainly under minimum wage given the hours they keep.

One exception is the Snake River Half-Marathon (filling fast, so enter soon!) which has been very generous in paying the Asotin XC teams to man the water stations at the 4- and 6-mile marks.

Generally, I figure that a race averages one volunteer per one hundred runners. Small local races actually have an easier time gathering volunteers as the spouses or parents of younger athletes jump in. I think bigger races come with a presumption that everything is paid for, so volunteers are less necessary. Certainly, the relays I've run have put their collective feet down and part of the entry is to provide two volunteers or cash to hire someone.

In Asotin, we have a core group that shows up to help and we've come to depend on them. But every race could use more help. The gentleman who does all the starting for the local HS track and cross country events has been doing it for nearly three decades.

The same thing happens at the club level. The same core of people tend to manage the group and the events year after year.

They could use a smidge of help, so I have a favor to ask of you. If you're a parent of an athlete, can you volunteer one time next year to help out the program? If you are in a running club, can you help with one race instead of running?

It doesn't take much but your fellow runners will appreciate it and, if my experiences are any indication, you will, too.

Time out on timing this summer to lick a granddaughter's popsicle. It was her first 5K.

Time out on timing this summer to lick a granddaughter's popsicle. It was her first 5K.