This week is National Volunteer Week, so it's a great time for me to mention the benefits of volunteering at road races. Volunteering to help at a race is a great way to give back to the running community and experience the fun and excitement of a race (without the anxiety!). If you've never run a road race before, volunteering is an excellent way to get your feet wet before you take the plunge and sign up for a race. And runners can save money by volunteering because races usually give volunteers incentives, such as free race registration or running gear.
If you've never volunteered at a race, the spring and summer running seasons are a great time to get involved because you don't have to worry about freezing your butt off as you're handing out water. By getting involved, you'll be able to help participants have a better race experience. And seeing the smiles of appreciation and gratitude from runners will definitely make it worth your time.
Race directors are always looking for more volunteers. To get involved with a local road race, contact your local road runners club. Or, if you want to volunteer for a large race, such as a marathon, look for the volunteer opportunities section on the race's web site.