I love to run. I love to ride. But all those events that I attend and enjoy come at a cost. The charities that put these on rely on volunteers to help make those special days happen and I believe that you have to give back some of your time to the sport; you cannot just take.
So today I was up early to head out to Mount Laurel, New Jersey to volunteer at the Cosies 4 Chemo 5k run and 1 mile walk. This is a great charity that makes customised cozy blankets for chemo patients and who delivered one to the son of a friend of mine last year.
What do you need to bring?
Firstly, your enthusiasm is key. The events needs to be fun to encourage people to come back, so make sure that you bring your a-game. No moaning about the jobs you are assigned. No whining about anything. Knuckle down and get the job done.
Next I always try to bring a bag of goodies:
1) snack bars
2) weather appropriate clothing; I knew it would be cool this morning and knew I’d be standing around for a while so I put on ski underwear and thermal running tops. Gloves and ear warmers are also useful.
3) small toolkit as you never know what might be needed
4) duct tape is ideal for fixing signs, taping up info and holding down table covers.
5) miscellaneous noise makers; cowbells and clappers are my favourites. Cheer people. Call out there numbers. Shout out the clock time to the leaders, etc.
6) your phone and the local emergency/contact numbers for the event.
I actually keep this list as a checklist in my phone so I don’t have to engage my brain when I get up early for the event. You don’t want to get somewhere to find you are missing an important part of your kit. Like for running preparation is key.
After the run I checked out the finishing times and think that I would have probably come in third place as the first two were at 19:01 and 19:03 respectively, and then there was a gap to 21:29.
It was a fun event and I would encourage every runner out there to volunteer at at least one event per year, and more if your schedule allows.