To paraphrase an old saying, running is absurdly simple, but the father you go, it ain't easy.
The same notion holds true with organizing, facilitating and coordinating a running event.
Whether it's planning an impromptu scamper around the block for the neighbor kids or arranging a carefully orchestrated run like the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon on Nov. 27, there is one element that is needed for both to pull it off and make it happen.
That element is the dedicated volunteers who either give of themselves, their time, or provide some tangible resource of support to all runners in the event.
The volunteers who man, staff, and team every aid station, cross street, and start/finish areas have always been much more than just a nameless and faceless throng of boosters or aficionados. The volunteers for the Seattle Marathon Association events are comprised of an enthusiastic and devoted mix of friends, family, community run advocates, and corporate civic minded groups, all with the same overlapping intention of providing support to all those in need out on the course.
Ask anyone who has served in the U.S. Navy, and they can probably quote you an old joke on what 'NAVY' stands for as an acronym - 'Never Again Volunteer Yourself.' Yet as applicable as that is in trying to get out of any working ‘party’ at sea in hoisting supplies, gear or equipment, for some reason it never seemed relevant to any type of civic action project such as a major run.
Volunteering for an event like the Seattle Marathon means more than just giving back to the community. It’s about assisting in a project much bigger than self; supporting others striving towards a specific goal; and providing safety and security to overall help showcase a prominent marathon in a notable city hosted by encouraging coordinators for remarkable athletes.
Who amongst runners has not gotten an adrenaline jolt by receiving a well-handed off water cup and then high-fiving the supporter?
What marathon participant has not appreciated the well-positioned law enforcement presence to control the flow of traffic to allow the course to continue unimpeded?
When hasn't a struggling runner appreciated a few words of encouragement from a well-meaning aid station assistant?
How has any event participant not welcomed seeing the quirky and humorous signs along the route held by friends and family, many of whom also double as a volunteer in some capacity?
Volunteers are indeed needed for the summer Seattle Marathon 10K and Kid’s Fun Run, Aug. 26 and 27 and during Thanksgiving week at the Seattle Marathon Expo, Kid’s Marathon and Seattle Marathon, Nov. 25-27.
How can one volunteer for the varied positions available? Click here: http://www.seattlemarathon.org/become-a-volunteer/
Approximately 1,000 volunteers are really needed to assist with the Seattle Marathon summer and late fall family of events. Is experience required? Not at all - Just a willingness to donate a little time, effort and energy.
There’s also some serious solid swag such as an official Seattle Marathon volunteer shirt, goody bag, certificate, along with the appreciation from thousands of runners, racers, walkers, strollers…you get the drift.
There’s a lot of position to also choose from, such as Set-up; Registration and bib pickup; bag check; finish line handing out water; finish line handing out shirts and goody bags; helping in the Recovery area with the runner’s food table(s); with Seattle Marathon Kid’s Fun Run and 10K activities; as a course marshal and at a water station and with clean-up.
None of the positions are difficult, albeit possibly time-consuming. But it’s time well spent, at a price that’s hard to match