For some people (particularly the busy ones), wants two things during weekends: Fun nights hanging out somewhere or just resting their tired bodies at home, doing nothing that’s working related. Well for some are traveling out of town or doing something fun and healthy like sports. Here in the Philippines, one of the busiest place during weekends are race events like fun runs, marathons etc. While many runners were asleep for their early races, the race organizers
While many runners were asleep for their early races, the race organizers were all wide-awake prepping up for the race event of your choice. Preparing a race event could really take about a month or 4 to plan (except for the small races) and a lot of sleepless nights to execute those plans. Not unless you’re big time organizers like RunRio, some organizers need tons of help to make a race a massive success. For some, they’re hired runners (like me) to be part of the organizer’s staff to help with other duties like:
1) Road marshals– the one who leads people on the race route to ensure the runner’s safety before and after race events. They’re also the one who’s cheering you up and greets you for almost 3 or more hours as you pass on to them on the road!
“GO GO GO RUNNERS!!!”
“GOOD MORNING RUNNERS/SIR/MAM! HAVE A SAFE RUN!”
“RUNNERS, BE CAREFUL ALONG THE RACE ROUTE!”
2) Race Hydration Marshal– you need water, bananas, sports drinks etc.? They’re your buddy along the road. These are the people who always getting wet to make sure that your hydration cups filled with tons of drinks whenever you need it.
3) Start/Finish Route Marshal– these are the people that you’ll see standing in front of the “Race Start/Finish Arc” to make sure that all of the runners will enter the race route in safety. They also list the names of the top runners/winners as they cross the finish line. Commonly, the people that you’ll shouted when you have complaints, and all sorts of issues whether the runner wins or be cheated.
“Why is it my name is not the winning list?”
“Your race timer is not accurate!”
“Your marshal makes us go to the wrong directions!” and many more that you can imagine.
4) Baggage Team– the first people that you will look for to handle your bags, belongings etc. while you’re enjoying your race event. They also the one who’s patiently looking for your baggage together with the hundreds of participants looking for the same thing.
5) Finisher Shirt/Loot Bags/Medals Marshal and many more task that a race marshal can do.
As a running marshal for almost 3 years, I do love what I’m doing to these races more than just being a runner myself. Being part of these race organizing teams makes me learn more about the running community that I’m with. It puts me in different places that I’d never been before and makes me do the unusual like being a zombie, a superhero etc.
Sleepless weekend midnights and personal security aside, going to these races teaches me punctuality and discipline to be excellent in everything that you do even on the little things. It enters me into the world that is apart from my destined field, which is teaching, and teaches me everything I need to know behind the scenes of organizing a race event. I’d been with different race event organizers and learn from their experiences first hand on how they plan and execute those plans. I’d learned the do’s and don’t’s of leadership from them and teaches me how deal with people and undesired circumstances.
As I get through these race events, never a dull moment will I ever encountered unlearned experiences from such events. It always gets me back to the heart of what volunteerism is and at the end of every event, I mostly leave the venue with a smile on my face knowing that I achieve something.
Learning new experience, gaining more friends, making memories, these are my perks of being a race marshal. With freebies, food and transportation allowance as bonus.
See you again at the road.