How do I volunteer?
There are numerous ways to do this:
- E-mail our Coordinator of Volunteers, Mindy Davidson at email@example.com or the Volunteer Coordinator for that particular event. Click here to see our list of Volunteer Coordinators for our different events with this contact info.
- Mail back the volunteer slip located in every issue of Long Island Footnotes to the address listed on the slip.
- Call the GLIRC office at 516-349-7646.
- Show up the morning of the event. We are always glad to have an extra pair of willing hands to help. (But if you can let us know in advance it will make our planning that much easier!)
If I am running, can my spouse, children, or friends volunteer?
Of course! We encourage everyone to volunteer. You need not be a club member (or even a runner) to do so. FYI, children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult to volunteer.
What happens after I offer to volunteer?
- If you volunteer at least a week in advance you will receive an email before the event. This will tell you your assignment and where, when, and to whom to report.
- If you volunteer within the week prior to the race that information will be given to you over the phone or by email (by that event’s volunteer coordinator).
Is it rain or shine?
Yes. Our events go off no matter what the weather!
As a volunteer, what will I do at an event?
All volunteers should first check in with the volunteer coordinator when first arriving at the event location. The volunteer coordinator is generally located in the registration area.
There are many assignments. Here is brief description of most of the typical ones:
Registration: This area encompasses handing out race numbers and timing chips (many races now use race bibs with the chip already attached), handing out t-shirts, registering last minute participants the day of the event. The Captain of Registration will help familiarize you with your assignment. He/she will also troubleshoot questions or problems.
- Pre-race registration -- people already registered will come to you to pick up their numbers and timing chips. You will look up their names on the list provided, check their race number and hand it to them. You will ask them to check that the information on their race number is correct. If it happens to be incorrect, you will complete an “edit sheet” that is provided for you and give it to the Captain of Registration.
- Day of race registration -- processing applications and assigning numbers and chips to persons registering that day. You will accept money and assign a race number and chip. You will generally record the person’s race number on their application and hand those new applications to the Captain of Registration.
- T-shirt distribution -- you will hand out t-shirts, and /or other race amenities to registered participants. You will mark an X on the back of their race number to denote that the item was received.
Finish Line: Encompasses directing flow of people, recording select times, monitoring the crowd for possible medical intervention. There will either be a Captain of the Finish Line or personnel from the finish line company to direct you.
- Directing the flow of people as needed. You will receive instructions from the staff of the finish line company.
- Recording select times entails standing at the finish line so that you can see the clock and the runners and recording the race numbers of participants and their finishing times. This system is used as a check and balance system to ensure the accuracy of results.
- Monitoring the crowd for possible medical intervention. You call for medical if a person asks for or looks like they need medical attention. An ambulance or EMT is generally located next to the finish line.
Clean Up: After the event is over, helping to clean up the area by loading the truck, and unloading the truck at the Clubhouse.
- Cleaning up the registration/refreshment area by making sure all trash is placed in trash bags.
- Loading the truck with items such as unused refreshments, tables, signs, etc.
- Unloading the truck at the Clubhouse.
Refreshments: You will help provide and monitor post race refreshments. The refreshment area is generally located outdoors near the finish line during the warm weather, and indoors near the registration area during the colder more inclement months. The Captain of Refreshments will assist you.
- Setting up refreshments -- placing beverages, bagels, fruit etc. on tables.
- Monitoring the flow of people, making sure enough food will remain for the back of the pack participants.
- You will assist with cleaning up the area.
Water Stops: Provide water to the participants before, during, and after the event. Bag the used cups in trash bags once the event is over (either along the course or at the start/finish area).
- Set up cups prior to and during the event.
- Pour water into cups.
- Hand out water to participants.
- Continuously fill cups.
- Clean up cups once all participants have passed through (you can also do this during the event). All used cups should be placed in trash bags.
- Once the trail vehicle/person has told you that the event is over, you can leave the trash bags there and either go home or return to the event site for post race refreshments.
Course guides: Provide direction and traffic control along the race course. A map will be given to you when you check-in. Please remain at your position until all participants have come through. A trail vehicle/person will tell you when you are finished. You can then either go home or return to the race site for post race refreshments.
- Direct runners at a turn along the course.
- Provide traffic control to ensure the safety of the race participants (and your own!).
Split callers: Call out the time at the mile markers along the course. When you check-in you will be provided with a map of your location. Please wear your running watch as one can not be provided. Please wait for all participants to pass through.
- You will drive your car to your assigned mile marker.
- When the gun goes off for the runners (please note wheelchair participants sometimes start up to 30 seconds earlier than the runners), you will start your watch and immediately drive to your location which is generally marked by a Mile 1,2,3 etc. marker sign, and a marking on the ground.
- You will call out the time as the participants pass by.
- When the trail vehicle/person comes through and alerts you that you are done, you can either go home or return to the race site for post race refreshments.
Can I volunteer in other ways?
Yes, you can call Linda at the GLIRC office at 516-349-7646 for more information.
What do I get for volunteering?
Besides a nice sense of accomplishment and the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people, you generally get a nifty t-shirt or other race amenity. The club also offers a Volunteer Reward system which includes gift certificates and the yearly GLIRC trip. The more you volunteer during the year the better your chance of winning a reward.
Some of our more specialized events, e.g. the Runner’s Edge Tobay Triathlon, the Marcum Workplace Challenge, our 50k’s, 6 Hour Birthday Run and the Suffolk Marathon may require slightly different jobs, but the general format will essentially be the same.
One way or another, there are a very few basic points to keep in mind:
- Don't be nervous - these jobs are not all that difficult.
- There is always someone around (a captain or someone who has done the job before) to ask if you have question.
- Most important of all, HAVE FUN! Volunteering can and should be rewarding. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make new friends.