Volunteering and running, for me two words which go hand in hand or should I say foot by foot? The vast majority of running events are enhanced by fantastic volunteers lining routes, cheering and encouraging, handing out medals and for some voluntary work can start months in advance with race preparation. If you’ve ever run a race with a buzzing atmosphere or you were forced to smile through pain or were handed that all important sip of water on a stiflingly hot day then chances are that was someone who had given up their time to make your day that little bit better. The biggest success of this is the Parkrun a free weekly timed 5Km run put together entirely by volunteers. With over half a million runners and over six million runs an astonishing success which has now gone international. Incredibly I’ve never actually done a ‘Parkrun’, with quite a few to choose from in London, which one shall I choose for my début?
With running 15 marathons I’m thankful to hundreds if not thousands of volunteers which have and will go the extra mile so I can keep going for 26 miles! I decided I needed to find a weekend clear of marathons and ‘FUN-RUN’s and get myself out volunteering. So a month ago I saw a well timed Macmillan tweet asking for volunteers. Worked out the Milton Keynes Festival of Running, which Macmillan were the official charity of would fit perfectly into my calendar. The event itself included various distances – 5Km, 10Km, Half marathon and 20Miles.
We were greeted with a pleasant Sunday morning as we made our way to the start to cheer and wish #teammacmillan and all the runner’s luck. As mentioned there were four distances, so the starts were staggered over and hour. There were just over 350 #teammacmillan runner’s in the lovely, bright green. As with all start lines there was a mixture of excited faces along with the nervous ones. Once the second wave of half marathoners had passed through we made our way back to the race village next to the finish.
Refreshed with a coffee we headed back out to a little pen #teammacmillan had at the start of the home straight. The crowds were beginning to gather as runner’s began to come through. We were cheering everyone past but were especially loud for our gorgeous green runner’s.
Excitable kids were coming up to us to ask for clappers to make even more noise, they’re parents were slightly less impressed however. A volunteer alongside me then spotted a baby clapping along to the delight of her parents
As the runner’s began to fizzle out the rain fizzled in. Maybe this was to get those last runner’s to hurry? As the last few passed us I jumped over the barrier to run some of the home straight with them.
It was great to be on the other side of the barrier this time round and witness other’s pushing themselves to the limits, whether it’s in aid of charity or for self development, or both!
I’ve volunteered at the London marathon the last two years and it is simply an incredible event to be a part of. If you are in or near London on Sunday 26th April, I’m sure Macmillan would like to hear from you, who knows you could be the volunteer I really need!
It was rewarding on a personal level to be supporting people running for a cause, the support I’m receiving is very important to me, if you would like to donate to my #15in15 challenge you can do so here
What’s next for Adventure Adam? Barcelona Marathon – Sunday 15th March