5 reasons to volunteer at the NYC Marathon

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.

Finish, NYC Marathon
Finish, NYC Marathon

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:

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Sparkle Running at the Girls on the Run 5K

I first heard about Girls on the Run from an old coworker (Thanks, Cass). Girls on the Run is an international nonprofit that works with girls ages 8-13 to build confidence, cope with bullying and develop healthy living skills. One of their big events is a 5K. Running over 3 miles is tough for a lot of people, and it feels even longer on little legs.

To help motivate the runners, the coaches seek the help of additional volunteers, called Sparkle Runners. Each sparkle runner is paired with a girl to help encourage her through the race, so she stays positive and happy over the 3 miles.

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