Adventures in Athletic Supporting

After tackling a 30k race the day after my birthday, I opted to not lace ‘em up for the Toronto Women’s 10/5k this year, a race that I ran last year and did pretty well at.

Instead, I put on a different shirt and volunteered at the race as a greeter and helped with medals.

Now, volunteering is nothing new to me. Having been raised in a household where giving back to your community is the norm, I’ve done my best to honour that by acting as a Scout leader and devoting time to other associations and events that I’ve received knowledge or support from.

In terms of running, I haven’t really given back and have instead chosen to cheer when I wasn’t a registered participant. Cheering at a race is a good time but volunteering at a race is even better.

Knowing how hard it is to get out there and slog through a run is one thing, but seeing the logistics and manpower that it takes to get a couple thousand runners from a start to a finish line is another. And as a runner who appreciates all of the fine races put on in this fair city, how could I not take the opportunity to help?

So not only did I get to do that, but I got to be my goofy self in welcoming and directing people around the race site, cheering them as they went off on their run/walk and then putting a medal around their neck at the end, congratulating them on a job well done.

It was even better that several of my clinic members from the Running Room were participating and I got to greet them as they crossed the finish line. Made me so proud!

So if you ever find yourself with a spare morning on the day of a race that you don’t plan on or can’t run, consider getting yourself out of bed and helping out. The race directors will thank you and hundreds of runners will too.

Have you volunteered at a race before?
Was your experience good? Bad? Ugly?
Will you consider doing it in the future?

**Photo courtesy of my awesome running pal, Mike**

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