This is my third year volunteering for Race for Life and this year I’m volunteering at three events: Windsor, Oxford and Reading. Originally I had planned for it to just be Reading again, but, after finding out that the events manager from the past two years wouldn’t be doing it this year, I decided to also sign up for Oxford. Windsor came about a bit out of the blue when I received an email asking for volunteers due to a shortage and I signed up for it.
On Saturday I once again remained in the admin tent answering queries from participants though also ended up selling tickets for some activities in the afternoon, whereas on Sunday I spent most of my time as a volunteer coordinator followed by breaking down all the equipment. I’m definitely getting better at grouping plastic stakes in groups of ten and tying cable-ties around them! As always, it has been a fantastic weekend with lots of work and lovely people and I’ve enjoyed doing something else this weekend, even though I was sure I loved being the admin assistant.
Several people this weekend asked me why I chose a particular role as a volunteer and it took me until now to realise why I prefer some over others. With the admin tent or even selling tickets there is a lot of interaction with the general participants and a great chance to feel the buzz at the event. It’s emotional hearing some of the stories or hearing the reasons they are taking part in the event. Or talking to the left-behind husbands or boyfriends who are amazed at their other half’s efforts.
Working as a volunteer manager doesn’t allow me that much interaction with participants and is much more focussed on the behind-the-scenes. Are there enough marshals? Why isn’t the radio of the first aid guy working? Has everyone arrived and been briefed? It does, however, give fantastic insights on how the event works and is definitely something I’d love to do again in the future.
Here are some of the pictures I took: