Sunday, September 23, 2012

Volunteering at the Rochester Marathon

What is a great way to get yourself pumped up for your own marathon (in a week!!)?

Volunteer for a marathon the weekend before!

Right after our amazing experience volunteering at the Sehgahunda Marathon, Mike and I were excited to volunteer for another race.  It is such a great feeling giving back to the community and sport that gives so much to us.  With all the racing that we do, we probably encounter thousands of volunteers, it is nice to be on the other side every once in awhile.

We had already signed up to volunteer for the Rochester Marathon prior to Sehgahunda.  We will also be volunteering at the Great Lakes 100 Mile Triathlon in two weeks.  

Today was the Rochester Marathon and we were assigned to work the water stop at mile 17. 

After getting to our designated water stop at 8am we started to help set up as the other volunteers trickled in. 

 Putting on the volunteer shirt

Mixing some Gatorade, it was cold out!

Our Gatorade and water all ready for the runners!

Since we were over halfway into the race, we didn't get anyone for awhile.  Eventually, really he was going extremely fast, the first runner showed up!

 Lead runner at mile 17

One nice thing about volunteering for a race but also being a runner is that we knew some people running the race.  We were able to cheer on some people that we know in real life and from online through websites such as DailyMile.

 Me!

Everyone was so appreciative of the fact that we were out there volunteering and it really meant a lot when they would say, "thank you".  I am the kind of runner that is always "in the zone" and doesn't really acknowledge people, but I am going to try next weekend!

Gatorade!

 Everyone working hard

There was one lady who didn't appreciate what we were doing, though.  The Rochester Marathon course goes along the Erie Canal path and the course is open to the public.  There were other runners, walkers and cyclists out while the race was going on.  One woman who was out walking stopped by our table and yelled at us because we hadn't picked up the cups along the course yet. 

We didn't think much of it, since none of the cups were in the runners' way and we were going to pick them up later, but she came back 20 minutes later and yelled at us again! She had used energy gel packets in her hand and chastised us because it was a "windy day" and it was "bad for the environment". 

We pretty much ignored her and said that at that moment our focus was on the runners' needs and that we would get the trash later (even though we weren't responsible for areas other than immediately around our water stop).  She didn't really like how we were handling her requests and basically told us that we should be like Wegmans (local grocery store) employees and do what the customer wants.  She was nuts! (In the end when we picked up the trash there was only ONE energy gel packet on the side of the path). 

Other than that little fiasco, this morning was a lot of fun and we are really excited to volunteer again in two weeks!

Are you going to try to volunteer for a race before the end of the year?

25 comments:

  1. Good for you! What was up with that lady?! Seriously, how is she a customer? Runners are your concern, not random crazy ladies. Sorry you had to listen to that. I really want to volunteer at a race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was nutso! When she said the thing about Wegmans, I said, "I don't work at Wegmans" and then turned my attention to an incoming runner. I think she left after that, haha!

      Delete
  2. We usually end up acting in a support role. I would like to volunteer more... we were there all day today, but in a different role, just like at sehgahunda! Great job for helping out again! You guys rock

    ReplyDelete
  3. i cheered everyone on at all the transition points of the relay after i was done. it felt so good! i LOVE supporting runners during races!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome that you guys were out there to volunteer and cheer people on. I probably would have just asked the crazy lady if she was in need of a beverage, then turned my back if she said no lol. There is always "that" person, no matter where you live! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love volunteering for races! I've volunteered for a couple 5k's, a 1/2 marathon when I was injured and did aid stations for my Team in Training team for 1/2 the season when I was injured, and the last one I volunteered for was Ragnar So Cal. It's a great way to stay involved when you might not otherwise be able to participate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Volunteering is so much fun! I volunteered at a triathlon earlier this summer and had a blast! And that lady is crazy!!! She obviously didn't have anything better to do! Good luck with your marathon!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never volunteered for a race before, but I think it would be fun! In the races I've done I REALLY appreciate the time the volunteers put into making the race a success, and I also appreciate their smiles and encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So awesome that you volunteered! I'm also planning to (for the first time) next month at a local cycling event. I think anyone who has ever participated in a race of any kind would readily admit that the volunteers play a big part in the success of the day. I'm pretty excited to return the favor this time!

    As for the crazy-lady...there's always one, right?! Love your 'I don't work at Wegmans' response :P

    ReplyDelete
  9. That IS such a great idea before your marathon. I'm so excited that you are running Wineglass. Do you have a time goal? I might have to look out for you to get some motivation! :) You also make me want to volunteer a little more than I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenelle!

      My husband is hoping for sub-4 hours and I am hoping for around 4:30. Really just to finish would be great!

      Delete
    2. awesome! I hoping to go under 4 as well. I did last year, but you never know with marathons...so many factors.

      Delete
  10. I love the idea of volunteering for a race!! Awesome way to give back! U go girl! Spa love!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have always had very positive experiences volunteering at races! I really should do it more often.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's such a great way to get involved - and psyched up before your race! Nutters will always weigh in. At leat they make things interesting?!

    I haven't volunteered yet, and I should. I'm going o go and find out what's on in my area.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Some people are just so crazy! Awesome that you volunteered! it was super chilly out there this morning!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, she wants you to be like Wegmans on a race course? She is nuts! I didn't realize you were in Rochester. My parents grew up there and I have a lot of family there. I volunteer at races by pacing a pace and I think I've got at least 1-2 more I'll do before the end of the year! I do want to do a water stop but I am not sure I'll be able to fit it in this year!

    ReplyDelete
  15. volunteering for runs are so much fun! I volunteered for the girls on the run race. I directed the runners at the very end! which was very important! It was a great time and fun to see everyone push it out at the end!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Whew - crazy lady!!
    I think volunteering is just as rewarding as running. It's amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You guys are such model runners. But it sucks that you had to deal with a crazy lady. I think you guys said the right thing about focusing on runners' needs for now. Since the runners are your customers. They paid for the race.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That lady sounds like a complete headcase! Minus her and her negative attitude, I'm glad you and Mike enjoyed volunteering. I've done some race volunteering this summer--like the Syracuse Ironman 70.3 and packet pickup for Fleet Feet's Runapoolza--and it feels great to give back to a sport and community that give you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That's awesome! You guys do a great job of getting out and volunteering for local races.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have been volunteering all week for Wineglass & I'm so glad I did! It has been getting me pumped for the race! Good luck to both of you!

    ReplyDelete