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:
On a Saturday afternoon in mid-March, I finished a terrible 3-mile run. It was one of many terrible recent runs.
I don’t have a sports agent. Speaking frankly, only one person would care if I quit running. I am married to him. So I called him. He answered from a chair lift in Beaver Creek. I got right to the point.
Me: Matt, I want you to be the first to know. I’m taking a break from running.
Matt: Does this mean you’re not running the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler?
Me: Exactly right. This interview is over. It’s my turn to order at Muffins Cafe. Love you.
I hung up the phone and I didn’t run for a month. I still found myself in DC the weekend of the Cherry Blossom race since Matt was running and I love our yearly trip. I used to live in DC and coming back for a weekend is always a delight.
One of my closest friends, Tricia, lives in DC and is the chief of staff in a congressional office. Tricia had convinced her entire team to sign up for the race with her. Then she didn’t train for it. A natural born leader, she planned to run the race anyway. The day before the race, we had the following exchange:
Oh you know, just 5 days until the NYC marathon. Here’s how I’m feeling, Harry Potter-style. Practically speaking, if you want to track me (or anyone) here’s the link to do so. You just need a name. If you’re looking for general info on the race, I created a page dedicated to the NYC marathon where you’ll find resources including maps, great places to cheer and so much more.
How did week 17 go? Well I ate everything within arms reach and then I moved over to eat whatever I couldn’t get to the first time. Life post-marathon training needs to have fewer trips to the office vending machine. A day with zero cookies will feel like a detox. In other news, I’ve had some toenail injuries (overshare?) but I think it’s all sorted. Anyone else dealt with that?
On the first week of taper, my true love gave to me:
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.