A New Role?

I volunteered for a race years before I ever thought of running one.   I worked a water table 3 years before I started running.  Back then this race was USATF certified and sanctioned so I can say I have actually seen elite runners up close.    They had no need of the water we were providing.   But it was fun watching them fly while we froze.   Seriously, for being September, I remember freezing the first 2 years.   Year 3, my station was at a different mile marker and was in complete sun.  So much nicer.  It was also in front of a grocery store.   I went in and bought all of us volunteers donuts.    So yes, the runners had to see us eating donuts.    🙂

Then I started running.   So now I was the person grabbing a cup of water from someone with cold hands.    After a year of not volunteering, I shifted to working the registration/ packet pick up table the day before the race.    I gained a new found respect for anyone who works one of those.  Particularly when it comes to t-shirt sizes.     Now I think it’s funny but that first year I thought I was going to lose my mind.   I’ve done that for 3 years now and I look forward to it every year.

But I haven’t given up water tables.  The last 2 years I worked a water table with my mom and her tennis team at another local race.    This race hosts a marathon, half marathon and 5K and our station was on the marathon course.    So it was a very dark and cold early morning.    Then, I was lucky enough to be a SLO ambassador for 2 years so I was given the chance to work on my social media skills.   It was fun but let’s be honest- Twitter still confuses me- I just can’t keep up!  Which makes this new role a little nerve wracking.HarvestHeaderSay hello to the Harvest Marathon, owner of those early morning marathon water stations.    It’s a scenic race through winding back roads with vineyards lining the way.   There are some hills but what better way to train for Heartbreak Hill, right?   The proceeds of the race benefit local youth athletic programs.    I took these shots at last year’s water station-

What am I doing?   Social media, of course.  But not as Slacker Runner.   As the Harvest Marathon.    Eeek!!!  I am torn between “muahaha” and “holy crap”.    That’s a lot of responsibility.    And I feel slightly odd when I (Slacker Runner) shares my (Harvest Marathon) posts.  🙂   Right now I am trying to grow their following but not post excessively.  So, I am posting twice a week right now.     I would like to step up to 3 but I want it to be natural.     I have some plans for future posts, I just need the time to make it happen.   I am trying to work on an Instagram as well.

So here are my questions.  Do you follow races on social media?  What types of posts do you like to see from them?    What would catch your attention as a runner?     Any suggestions on managing media?   I now have 3 Facebook feeds and 2 Twitter feeds.  Hootsuite isn’t letting me integrate the 2 profiles.  Grrr.   Any thoughts?


Have you ever volunteered for a race before? How?

20 Comments on “A New Role?

  1. I definitely follow races on social media. If I’m running the race, I love seeing frequent postings! I don’t love Twitter (I have it, but I don’t use it) but I love FB and Instagram! Sounds so exciting to be the one doing the posting! Good luck!


    • I keep trying to figure out Twitter but it moves so fast. I can’t keep up! I love Instagram and hope to convince them to create one for the race. Granted I would have to figure out to manage 2 profiles but how hard can that be? Ha!! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love when races are on social media, because that usually means information is easier to come by and that someone is there to answer questions. Sharing helpful information, like parking locations, bib pickup times/locations, whether there will be aid stations/porta-potties on the course or not… pretty much anything I’d be worrying about in the days/weeks leading up to a race! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll be awesome!


    • I want to share all that when it gets closer to the race. It’s trying to grow the following that is freaking me out. And not be annoying. 🙂 Fingers crossed, thanks!


  3. Very cool! I don’t follow that many races on social media, but knowing they’re there if I need information or help is a huge bonus. Like Dana said, logistical information is always helpful. Also, things like medal reveals, swag teasers, and information about registration deadlines or prices increases are great too.


    • I love medal reveals, I know some people like to be surprised at the end of the race but sometimes I like being able to picture it while running the race. Sometimes I need that extra motivation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really want to volunteer for a big marathon. I think it would be such an incredible experience being out on the course watching the race unfold from a different perspective. Congrats on your new role! I usually follow races through Instagram or FB, Twitter is like too much for me…. Good luck with everything! : )


    • This is a small race and it can be stressful, I don’t know if I could handle a big one!! It does sound fun though. Instagram and Facebook are more my speed. I know there are ways to stream line I just haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe someday. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I follow lots of races on FB and a few on blogs. I like seeing course maps, race pics and especially reviews from runners who have done the race! Good luck – I’m sure you’re going to be great!!


    • Oh, I like the review idea. Maybe I can ask for past racer’s thoughts on the course. I’ve only run the 5k since I volunteered that last few years so I am not sure how the half marathon fares. I’ll check into that, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have volunteered, but this is so much more of a cool opportunity than I had. You’re going to do GREAT!!!


  7. How cool – congrats! I definitely follow races I am running or interested in on FB and Instagram. I agree about Twitter – I don’t use it much myself. But I think for followers it’s a great way to share updates about the race (price increase deadlines, course changes, time changes). Excited to see your posts!


  8. What?!? I have ALWAYS wanted to run Paso Robles!! I will definitely follow you and maybe run it one day, perhaps next year since my race calendar is filling up. YAY!!!


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