For several years now, I’ve raced in the Manchester community but have never offered anything back. I started having this nagging feeling that I should probably start helping out some of these local races that rely so heavily on volunteers. So, I decided that instead of running in this year’s Manchester City Marathon, I’d sign up to help out with directing runners on the course.
I had a blast. After I picked up my flag and vest from Veteran’s Park, I came home, got my kids ready and headed to my traffic point. Since I did have my kids with me, the volunteer director placed us at a low traffic junction (where the MCM goes into the Livingston Park trail). This was a great opportunity to spend time with my boys and show them the importance of giving back to our community, too.
For about 1 1/2 hours we stood on our corner and flagged runners by and shouted words of encouragement. I was amazed at how many “thank yous” I got from all the runners. I felt like it was the least I could do after all the races I have run in. It was nice to take part in running in a new way and to watch the sport I usually compete in.
I’d encourage anyone out there who races to take a break from the sport and sign up to volunteer at a local race. Organizers need volunteers, it’s fun and it will let you spectate and participate in your sport simultaneously. I, for one, plan to continue looking for opportunities to volunteer. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all those volunteers who have made so many races so awesome for me. Thank you!