Thank You Volunteers!!!

I’ve said it before an I’ll say it again: This race doesn’t happen without volunteers. In fact, no community event happens without volunteers — people willing to wake up and do things simply for the benefit of others.

You guys are it.

When I did my race recap, I extolled the wonder of it all, with all of the moving parts that putting on an event entails. Sometimes, people just did things without me asking or knowing. Intersections got covered, medical people appeared out of thin air to pitch in when needed, signs got moved to appropriate spots, and a million other things while my head spun off its mooring on Sunday morning as I tried to focus on the start and finish.

After handing off materials to the registration table I didn’t even have to look back, unless it was to say hello to a runner.

I did my best to meet and greet so that runners would have a great time, and you guys did all the hard work while I stood up there and got the acclaim.

And the runners came back with spectacular reviews, from veterans and newbies alike.

But it doesn’t happen without you.  Yes, I said that before. Yes, I’ll say it again.

Anyone can come up with plans. But it’s the execution of those plans that takes work. And you executed.

Let’s look at my annual review of the various “jobs” that we had to take care of, shall we? While my recap of the race has the look and feel of the runner’s perspective, this is what “backstage” of Paine to Pain looks like:

Updating web site

Designing shirt

Distributing shirts

Designing medal

Distributing medals

Planting/removing signs

Online registration

In person registration

Banner/sign design and purchases

Setting up start/finish line banners

Ordering tents, tables and chairs (start and finish)

Placing tents and tables

Shopping for start/finish line goods

Manning intersections

Organizing close to 200 volunteers

Data analysis to determine in August how many will show in October

Creating and manipulating spread sheets

Creating income statement

Writing checks and tracking invoices/payments

Finding restaurants to donate food

Getting that food to the finish

Ordering water/additional food/utensils/cups/plates for finish

Feeding people / staffing food stations

Manning three aid stations (and arranging for water for them)

Medical coverage for three aid stations and finish line

Finding and coordinating sponsors

Firing muskets and establishing colonial theme

Establishing massage stations

Securing and transporting baggage

Maintaining email list and sending out mass emails

Laying out, and then sweeping,  ~800 flags

Supervising cheerleaders

Announcing arriving runners to the finish

Finding/providing music for start, finish and on the course

Obtaining permits

Obtaining insurance for every municipality and sponsor

Coordinating four police departments

Coordinating parking

Race day communications via ham radio

Finalizing results and fixing scoring errors

You accomplished an astounding feet. Each year I dump some project on someone — often a person with a full time job — and that person just gets the job done, consuming, usually, several hours of time.

All of your effort shows. Year after year the glowing reviews come in that you guys nailed the execution of the race, and this year has exceeded the stellar reviews of the prior ones. I’m not sure how you top A+, but you managed. It is the volunteers that turn a mere footrace into a piece of performance art.

Over and again people came up to me to talk about the enthusiasm of the volunteers. At the start, on the course and at the finish.

We had runners registered from 19 states and two other countries.  We often now find runners flying in to see family/friends on this particular weekend so that they can run our race. It’s what a community event is all about.

It. Doesn’t. Happen. Without. You. There. I said it again.