on sunday, i volunteered at the rudolph ramble 8k in lincoln park. i wasn't too sure what my duties would be, as the only instructions i had been given were to show up bright and early at 7am. it was rainy and wet and muddy that morning, so i knew it would be a interesting first time volunteering.
the rain stopped by race time, but the mud stuck around!
i checked in at the volunteer tent and was sent over to packet pickup, which i had signed up for. there was a small group of seven of us, and i was assigned to pass out bibs. i was in charge of last names d-h, and basically my job was to look up their bib by last name, call out their selected beanie color (instead of race shirts, participants got to choose one of two beanie designs as their race gear), and then check their id or race registration before handing their stuff over. easy enough! i was also given a beanie to wear and keep, as a thank you for volunteering.
it's so cute!
things started off slow, but quickly picked up as race time drew nearer. it was so muddy in the field that we were set up in, and the rain kept pouring in, but all of the participants were in great spirits! i was so excited for all of them and wished each and every one a great race. once my line died down a bit, the volunteer director sent me off to the timing van to check in race day registrations, which gave me a cool, behind-the-scenes look at how we all get timed during races! there are so many moving parts in setting up a good race, and volunteering made me appreciate my races so much more. once all the chips were ready, it was race time!
race start...told you it was muddy that morning!
once the race got going, there obviously weren't many people picking up packets anymore. and that's when i got directed over to the second part of my shift, kids race facilitator! each of us were assigned an age group (i had ages 5-6) and we were told to hold a sign up to round up our group. immediately after i put my sign up, i had all these little kids run towards me. they were so cute! they were asking me a bunch of questions, telling me they were about to race 100 miles (they actually were doing 100 yards), and asking me if i was going to race, too.
taking my sign holding job very seriously.
it was decided after we had rounded them all up that it was best to move their races off the muddy trail, since they were more likely to fall in puddles than the adults who ran that path earlier were. it was my job to get them all over to the new start location, and they were getting so pumped up! seriously, i want to volunteer at every kids race from now on because it was so cute. once it was their turn, the course marshal came over to remind them not to push, and off they went! each of them got the most adorable medal and it seemed like they loved them.
the medal doubles as an ornament!
once they were done, so was i! i was surprised how quickly the 3.5 hours that i was there passed, especially because i'm not a morning person. but i really enjoyed it! and i know i'll probably volunteer again!
did you run the rudolph ramble? what's your favorite race day volunteer role?
-b the pictures of me and the race are courtesy of the fleet feet facebook page.