I hadn’t volunteered at a race in a good long while, so when the Achilles Hope and Possibility 5-miler was posted I decided to sign up. It seemed fitting since I’ve been volunteering with local Achilles International athletes.
I had never been a course marshal before, so that’s what I chose from the list. Course marshals are posted around the course every couple hundred feet or so. They make sure runners stay inside the course and look out for runners who need assistance of any sort. And marshals get to cheer and encourage everyone who passes by. :)
My assigned area is also in the narrowest part of Central Park. At first it seemed idyllic, but then when the bulk of the runners came through, it became nerve wracking. There simply wasn’t a way to keep everyone on the course.
But because I was within a mile of the starting line, my job was over fairly quickly. I think I was only at my post about 90 minutes. That gave me plenty of time to head over to the finish line and cheer on the runners wrapping up the race. I also had time to watch the kids races, which I’ve never done before.
Volunteering is always fun - if you’ve never done it, I encourage you to try it at least once. And the Achilles race was very inspirational; lots of excellent and courageous athletes of all abilities. I suspect I’ll be in Central Park for this race again next summer.
Kids lining up to race
Anthony Edwards was there