Come late summer and early fall, marathon fever will hit New York City. But by then, it will be too late. If you’re not running this year, I have a marvelous suggestion on how you can be get in on the action: volunteer.
There are still a handful of volunteer spots left at the 2019 NYC Marathon. Volunteer opportunities fill up very quickly so I am sure these spaces won’t be available for long.
I volunteered in 2018. I registered the day after I crossed the 2017 marathon finish line. I’ve always loved the NYC marathon and I knew I wouldn’t be running it two years in a row. So the day after I crossed the finish line, I signed up to hand out water at Mile 25. Then I waited 364 days for my big chance. Marathon Day brings out the best in NYC. Plus there are too many street closings to do much else but enjoy the marathon, so you might as well get in on it.
Volunteer opportunities are diverse: you can hand out water or gatorade, you can put medals on the finishers, if you have a medical license you can provide real-time support on the course, you can hand out bibs at the expo or you can help with logistics for tens of thousands of runners at the start.
Need a little more convincing?
Here are 5 reasons to volunteer at the NYC Marathon:
So I’m a marathoner. Yesterday, I ran the NYC Marathon, my first-ever marathon. I am so sore and so very happy. It’s such an overwhelming race. I can’t imagine how it must feel to come to NYC for the very first time to run it. I knew where I was about 60% of the time and still felt totally lost and small in the giant scheme of this 55,000-person experience.
Here’s how the day went down.
I woke up at 5:30am. I went to bed at 8:30pm the night before (and gained an hour due to daylight savings time). So despite the early wake up, I was well rested. I ate a RX Bar and packed some Chia Health Warrior bars for the commute. I got dressed and Matt and I met our friend Jon in a cab near our house. We got to South Ferry Station around 6:50am. We technically signed up for the 6:45am ferry time, but there is literally no way to check ferry assignments at the station. It’s basically a tool for people management but it is not enforced at all. Not even attempted. Think of it as a polite, light suggestion.
Most training plans include a tapering period 2-3 weeks before a marathon. This means you run less, and slow the eff down in fitness and ideally in life. The theory is the work is done, your strength and endurance are built and it’s too late to try to work on speed. Now it’s time to relax and get/be healthy. The goal is straightforward: Show up to the marathon well-rested and eager to run.
I’ve heard the taper can make you go crazy. Some dub the moody response some runners have “Taper Tantrums.” I figured I’d have some issues here, but it’s not what I predicted. I expected to feel the desire to run more than I was permitted to and to feel frustrated and nervous about the lack of mileage, but au contraire. All I want to do is sit on the couch, forget running, take some naps and eat pretzel croissants from City Bakery. (I’m averaging three a week. Too much?)
I ran 4 miles yesterday at a 10-minute per mile pace (on the slow side for me) and it was a workout, not a casual jaunt in the park. Everything feels HARD. I’m still sore from the 21 mile run. Which was like, 10 days ago. So I’d say things are going only OKAY. I feel DONE.