The Vancouver USA Marathon was yesterday and I feel like I ran it 10 times, but I didn't....I was the volunteer coordinator and I have to say, that was much more difficult!
A year ago, I was invited to be on the Race Committee and then asked to be the volunteer coordinator. I work with the volunteers on our events, the most I've ever had was about 70. For this event, I had over 250 volunteers between water stations, course marshals, Finish area volunteers and people to help at the two day race expo. It was overwhelming and there were many moments when I wondered why I ever agreed to take on this task.
I spent the last month putting together a list of volunteers and all the locations where I believed I needed them, only to find out last week that I needed more. That made me panic a little. Volunteers can make or break an event like this and really, once they are out on the course, I have very little control. If you know me, you know that "very little control" over something is my worst nightmare. I am a control freak. I admit it.
I poured over my list of volunteers and my list of duties. I scheduled and rescheduled. Every time I thought I had it right, I would find another place where volunteers were needed. I always have lots of communication with my volunteers, that way I can get a feel for them and where they would best fit into the event.
After it is all said and done, I think I did a good job of putting people in the right places. There are some volunteer jobs that are awesome at an event like this (ie. handing out medals at the finish line) and some that aren't as glamorous (ie. staffing the recycling stations), but every job has to be done and my volunteers did an amazing job. Several times, we had to re-position people, move them around and people gladly went to where we needed them.
Over the last few days, I have actually gotten emails from people thanking ME for letting THEM volunteer. That's pretty awesome.
Trevor helped out too - he was in charge of the lead bikes. He is the best volunteer! He will go and do whatever needs to be done and doesn't even have to be asked.
We were short a few places, I could have used about 20 more people, but I think we did pretty good with what we had. I am glad its over, I don't want to do it again. I feel exhausted as if I had run the marathon, but my body isn't as sore!
This event was a huge success and I really look forward to running it next year!