Planning and organizing a race takes a lot of time, consideration, and volunteers. There are not only a ton of tasks to fill, but there's also a lot of ground to over. We're here to help make it a little easier for you by breaking down the most essential volunteer roles for your upcoming race.
Set-Up and Tear-Down
Find people who have the time to show up early to help set-up for the event. Wherever possible, have volunteers come in the day before to set up as much as they can so not everything is left to last minute preparations.
Volunteers will be needed who can stay late and help with the tear-down and clean-up of the event. Particularly if you're renting a space, or using a public location, you don't want to annoy the location manager by leaving a mess behind.
Race Crew Captain or Supervisor
You'll want someone with a clear head, an air of authority, and a good eye to supervise all your volunteers. They will be your right-hand man/woman who will help you gather the troops to keep your event on track and adjust to unexpected changes. With the excitement of the day, anything can happen, and you'll want to make sure the person that you put in charge will be able to handle it.
Information booth volunteers should have great customer service skills since he/she will be one of the first points of contact that people will encounter. Their job will be to provide people with any printed informational material you might have, to answer questions, or to point them in the right direction.
Event photographers will capture every aspect of your event, giving event participants and volunteers more to remember. While you may hire photographers for the most important shots and angles, depending on how long your course is or how much time it spans over, it's worthwhile to bring on volunteer photographers to capture more of the event. Don't underestimate the importance of getting lots of photos - they'll help everyone remember long-term how great and exciting your event was, which could entice them into attending or volunteering at your next one. They'll also be a great resource for marketing purposes.
First Aid Stations
Since anything can happen, especially when it comes to physical outdoor activity, it's always a good idea to come prepared. If possible, try to find volunteers with a background in first aid to run the station. Find someone who can, and will, react to an injury in the quickest and most appropriate way.
Cheer stations are great for racer motivations, and for setting a positive and exciting mood. Your cheer station volunteers should be loud, authoritative, and energetic. These volunteers will be responsible for keeping the crowd back away from the racers and encouraging them to cheer.
Your water station volunteers will be responsible for handing out water to the racers so they can hydrate before, during, and after the race. This will help prevent heat-stroke and help keep your racers happy and healthy. If your supply permits, the water station could also be used for other participants and attendees.
Early Race Package Pickup
This volunteer will be responsible for passing out the racing packages ahead of time, for anyone who wants to get a head start, or doesn't want to wait in a line on race day.
Race Day Package Pickup
The race day package pickup volunteer will be responsible for passing out racing packages the day of the race. They should be available to arrive early enough to hand out all the packages in plenty of time for the races to begin.
The volunteer check-in volunteer will have to be one of the first to arrive. They'll be responsible for making sure that all the volunteers have arrived and know what they're doing. If a volunteer doesn't show up, it will be their responsibility to communicate the information to you so you can find someone to take their place.
The floater will the person who can 'bounce' around between the volunteers and offer extra help and assistance. This could also the person who can take over a volunteer's position if someone doesn't show up. Be sure to recruit a high proportion of floaters during the busiest times of your event to ensure you'll have enough staff to keep everything (and everyone) running smoothly.
Course marshals will be responsible for remaining near the track to keep racers on course and offering them encouragement. Ideally, they'll be positioned at a point in the race where the racers will start to tire or want to quit.
Post-race volunteers will be responsible for handing out any metals or rewards, collecting race chips and distributing food and water. Their jobs are to handle the events that take place after the race is completed and before the tear-down and clean-up phase.
Easily recruit and schedule all of your staff and volunteers for your race using InitLive's volunteer management software, designed for events. InitLive makes it easy to create a volunteer schedule, initiate signup and recruitment, store important volunteer data, communicate / make schedule changes during your event via the mobile app, and more!
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