Tag: volunteer

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?

Water and Gatorade, then go left

I said that a lot on Sunday!IMG_7103

First things though thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one!  The comments on my last post were awesome, thanks guys!  🙂

I was still riding that runner’s high from Thursday when I went for a run on Saturday.  While it was nowhere near the epicness of Thursday, it was still pretty good.  My planned 3.8 turned into 4.5. Oops.  🙂  The weather started out overcast and chilly but I quickly warmed up.   I’m still slower but I think I’ve finally, really accepted it.    I just took my time and enjoyed my run.   Going longer was only an oops because I had a meeting to go to with my mother.  I ended up just throwing a sweater over my running gear.  IMG_7113The only reason I felt ok doing this was because we were headed for a volunteer check in for the Harvest Marathon.   I have wanted to run the half at this race for the last two years but it’s proximity to City to the Sea usually has me feeling burnt out.  So instead I volunteer.  My mother and her tennis teams have to work 2 stations so I hang out with them.    The race has a 5K, half marathon and a full marathon.   The half and the full are run on back roads through vineyards and orchards as well as farms and homes.  Last year the teams were split between 2 water stations.  This year we had one of the water stations from last year and a course monitor point at the 12ish mile turn around point.  IMG_7098It was an early morning.  Being up that early and not racing seemed like a crime.  Have I mentioned that I love sleeping? However stopping for donuts along the way made everything better.  Didn’t you know that donuts have magical healing powers?  My boss said that the other day, I thought it was awesome.  🙂  We arrived at our aid station- mile 8.7 of the marathon- a little before sunrise.  Fall has finally arrived, so it was damn cold, after setting up the station I jumped back in the car until it was almost time for the first runner.  IMG_7126This is a small race put on by the high school and the funds go back into the high school athletic program.  It is Boston certified but draws a smaller crowd.   There were 97 finishers for for the full and 283 for the half.   As for the Boston qualifying part- it has an elevation gain of 1600 feet.   The aid station was at the top of a long slow climb followed by an immediate left and more climbing.   I felt so bad every time a runner asked if this was the last hill.   😦IMG_7124All the runners were so nice.  Most of them thanked the team for the water and for being up early on a Sunday.   Our station had water and Gatorade which was an improvement over last year when we just had water.  The port-a-potty was a huge hit too.   Apparently one guy couldn’t handle the line of one and did his business behind the port-a-potty.  Really?!  There was no line!   One runner did yell at me for the lack of race food provided and a woman from the orchard asked me if we were cleaning up after “the parade”.  When I said yes, her response was that she wasn’t going to yell at me yet then.  Ummm, thank you?IMG_7125On the whole, it was a good morning.  It’s fun to cheer other runners on.  Especially for a race that has no crowd support for the majority of the miles.   The people who run this race rock.   Now I am torn for next year- do I finally run it or do I keep volunteering?  Getting teenagers to voluntarily get up at the crack of dawn is like pulling teeth so my mother will probably need help again.  🙂

Ever volunteer at a water station?

Ever been yelled at by a runner?

How about the port-a-potty?  Would you have jumped the non-existent line?