Volunteers needed at the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Volunteers needed at the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Volunteers needed at the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Volunteers are the backbone of any marathon. The Detroit Free Press Flagstar Marathon needs volunteers, hundreds of them!

Course marshals, split timers, finish line support, fluid and spirit station helpers. Volunteering at a marathon is the essence of community involvement.

Coordinating over 3,000 volunteers to work in a variety of areas on race weekend is an enormous task. There was a time when the marathon could rely on the experience of running clubs to take many of the volunteer assignments.

With the race offering many different events, these runners now want to run. This means many volunteers need to come from organizations and individuals who are non-runners.
Most tasks need a minimum of instruction. So volunteers without experience shouldn’t be afraid to sign up.

The Saturn Health and Fitness Expo registration area is one place volunteers can support prior to race day. While runners are at the expo they might consider volunteering for a couple of hours to hand out race numbers, computer chips or T shirts to name a few tasks.

Baggage claim is another area that needs over a one hundred volunteers to sort and organize bags. They can help runners get into dry clothes soon after they’ve completed their race. With the return to an outdoor finish, there can never be enough baggage claim volunteers.

Course operations needs assistance getting mile markers and barricades out on the course. Finding one hundred pair of course marshals that are needed to keep runners from making a wrong turn can be a challenge.

The marathon has received great support from groups coordinating water stations at the start, finish and on the course. With enough volunteers at the finish line distributing food, they will put a smile on the face of runners heading home after and exhausting day.

The need for a good cleanup crew is essential. After the race is over, it’s important to have volunteers picking up everything that is left behind. Everyone that is part of the marathon wants to leave the city with a good impression. Everyone participating is an ambassador to the sport. They should want to leave the event as clean as before the runners arrived.

The event has become more sophisticated because runners expect a lot more that years ago. This means more equipment is used to conduct the event. Race equipment fills up more than two full storage units. It requires several days to set everything up and tear it down. This can’t be done without some strong able bodied volunteers.

At the end of the day, volunteers discover the excitement of the marathon. They have fun and enjoy the camaraderie between everyone participating.

The Free Press Flagstar Marathon has been one of the fastest growing marathons in the country. The growth in numbers has come in part because of the dedication and vision of the marathon staff, which are for the most part volunteers. Some volunteer year after year. On race day there is always a place for new volunteers to help.

Sponsors and charities are great at bringing in groups of supporters but individual volunteers are needed too. Volunteer registration is available in hard copy form at running specialty stores. It can be done on-line at: www.detroitmarathon.com/volunteers

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