This past weekend I volunteered to work my very first trail race. My best friend was running the half marathon distance and I decided to cheer her on and work while I waited for her to finish.
The race is put on by Atlis Endurance and they do a series of ultra/full/half races in scenic areas around the Maryland/Delaware/Virginia area.
I had no idea what to expect going into it but I kept an open mind and had a really nice day!
We got to the park with about 30 minutes to go. Packet pick up was right there in the parking lot. We both checked in and she got her packet. I was assigned to the finish area which wasn’t too far from the lot.
We said our goodbyes and I wished her a good race. She headed for the start and I headed for my post.
First thing I noticed was the spread. I’m used to sports drink, water and bananas at the finish. Here we had cookies, chips, candy, chocolate milk, bananas, PB&J, water and sports drink…mmmmmm…
Next thing I noticed was the “bag check” which was really just where each runner had set up their stuff for the day so as they made loops they could stop by for whatever they needed.
I have a very good friend who has recently gotten into ultras and had told me about both of these things – however to see it (and see how it worked) made it all make sense to me. She has always said they are low key races with a long time frame and lots of tasty goodies to keep you going.
Each loop was about 4.5 miles. My friend had to do 3 laps to complete her race. I kept myself busy by taste testing (it’s a tough job I know!), replenishing water cups, picking up the discarded cups runners dropped, and once we had finishers, giving out the medals 🙂
I worked for about 4 hours or so. I learned the next time I volunteer one of these trail races (which I plan to do in the near future) I need to bring myself a chair and stock up on my own snacks (I always feel guilty taking from runners).
The runners were great and the organizers were wonderful! As a thank you for volunteering, they even made a donation to Kellsie’s Hope.
I highly recommend running one of their events or even coming out to volunteer! You will not be disappointed.