A good friend of mine once told me that for every three races you run, you should volunteer at one race. Without volunteers, many of these events would not be possible. Volunteers play a huge role - doing everything from handing out the water and race numbers to ensuring participant safety. In fact, volunteerism is a huge part of the run community. Many runners volunteer their free time for their run clubs, as coaches for run programs, and at various running events.
On a recent very early Sunday morning, nine lululemon educators, all in Bon Bon Pink Cool Racerbacks attended the Zooma Women's Half Marathon in Annapolis, Maryland. Four of the educators ran stellar races, while representing the lululemon athletica team. The other five educators volunteered at the race and were posted at the finish line. Two of the educatars handed out the finisher's medals, which at Zooma are lovely necklaces, while the other three educators poured Gatorade and cut orange slices for the race finishes. By pure luck, the educators had been assigned to volunteer with elite runner and lululemon ambassador Kristen Henehan, winner of the 2007 Marine Corp Marathon and 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials participant. Kristen's spirit of volunteerism and commitment to the sport was truly inspiring.
I was truly touched by how many race participants appreciated our presence and thanked us for volunteering. At the end of the day, both the runners and volunteers came out as winners and with a sense of satisfaction. On a personal note, even though I have volunteered at many events, and volunteer a great amount in the run community as a whole, my experience volunteering with a group of friends and colleagues has inspired me to promote a greater sense of volunteerism at races within my own run club and within my run network as a whole.