Hypothermic Half Volunteer Recap

Since I didn’t actually run my first race of the year, I thought I would write about my first “Volunteer” race of the year.

Yesterday was a cold morning in Halifax as it was around -14 c and the windchill around -23c. Brrr!

I volunteered through Maritime Race Weekend and was part of their pirate crew…ARRRRRRRR! I was at “Water station A” which would be the turn around point for runners (almost 7km into the run). Originally, they were supposed to run past us another 3k or so and then turn around. That didn’t happen because of the trail conditions.

MRW Pirate Crew... brrr!

MRW Pirate Crew… brrr!

We met around 7:45 am and started to chat; we did not know each other. After a little time had passed and we were still trying to figure out each other’s name, I said “Anyone wanna do a name game?” The Outdoor Recreation Specialist in me came out 😉 They said yes! Eeekkk! 

I'm smack in the front

My head is smack in the front

So, I proceeded to explain the game and was asked if I was a teacher? No, not a teacher but I explained that I worked in the Outdoor Recreation field for a long time.”Ahhhh, that makes sense”! Within a few minutes of starting this game we were all laughing pretty hard and ended up playing for about 15-20 minutes or so!

Then we pulled in the photographer to play with us and after a few more rounds of the “hand slap name game” we realised that we needed to get the water/Gatorade ready. Time to focus on the task!

I ended up grabbing a garbage bag and went out a little further to collect any cups the were on the ground however, most runners stopped or slowed down to put it in my garbage bag. Gosh, those Haligonians are so caring 🙂

Water station A behind me

Water station A behind me

Even though the air was cold the wind was minimal and the sun was BEAMING down on us. It was a great day to volunteer. Actually, with the conditions of the trail, it was a better day to volunteer then to run.

Around 9:45 we wrapped up our water stations and I headed into the start area, about a 5 minute drive away. I waited for my running buddy Krystol to finish and she did great!

Krystol and I - she finished standing upright!

Krystol and I – she finished standing upright!

I was a little in shock at how many injuries I was seeing: two people being walked out with aides; blood on someones face, heard about a broken arm; saw a knee injured runner. I kinda felt ill and thankful that I didn’t run it. The amount of injuries and the condition of the trail was absolutely concerning. This is the first year they held this run on this specific trail.

Volunteering was great and super easy especially when I registered last minute to volunteer. It was well-organized and fun. The only thing we didn’t have at our water station (that I saw) was any sort of first aid materials.

The runners got a neck warmer and running gloves – really nice stuff! There was also a free warm meal afterwards for runners and volunteers – about a 15 minute drive away in traffic. It was yummy and WARM!

Warm meal

Warm meal

As a runner, I try hard to thank volunteers as I run past them and ALWAYS the race director too. I was amazed at how many runners said “thank you”. Really, all I was doing was picking up cups and encouraging them as they ran by me. At times I didn’t really feel like I was doing much. Again, as a runner, I always appreciate their time and energy.

Overall, I had a lot of fun volunteering, met some great people and got to see a few friends finish their race!

Ever concerned with the conditions during a race?

Do you volunteer for races/events often or never?

Ever give race directors constructive criticism? 

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24 thoughts on “Hypothermic Half Volunteer Recap

  1. Oooh water station volunteer. I did that ONCE and got absolutely soaked. Runners are just not thoughtful about where they are tossing their cups! But yes, I do volunteer…every year at the Goodlife Fitness Marathon here… I like to give out shirts to the entrants when they first get to the race Expo on Friday nights. Fun and inspiring too. Good for you!

  2. Volunteers can definitely make a race! During my last half, they were SO kind and encouraging, it made me feel so much better at mile 10 when I thought my legs were gonna fall off!

    • That’s what my running buddy (who ran it) said to me. She said I was more crazy then her to stand there. I think she was crazy and hardcore for running on that icy trail!
      PS you rocked Phoenix!

  3. HI! I ran yesterday!! Thanks for volunteering!! It was so nice to see happy faces at the turn points and water stations! I am in awe that many people got hurt! The conditions were terrible to run on! My running bestie and I had fun!

  4. Pingback: Hypothermichalf 2015 Halifax – A Recap | Blessed n Stressed

  5. I am volunteering/photographing the hypo here in Red Deer next Sunday. I love cheering on all the runners. I volunteer at as many races that I can locally because I don’t often run them. (I need variety!) It’s a great feeling to give back.

  6. I volunteered at the PEI marathon last year. I was near a water station, at the location where the 5k and 10k runners split up. I had a lot of fun cheering on the runners, and now and then I’d yell out a name that I saw on a bib, or something like “Hey, purple shirt! Love your tights” and they’d look at me like I was nutso. I had some Christmas jingle bells that I wore on my hand so every time I moved they’d ring. I also yelled to everyone I saw wearing NS tartan. You can take the Bluenoser outta NS, but you can’t take NS outta the Bluenoser!

    A lot of people yelled their thanks as they ran by, but I think I was having more fun than they were.

    • I was surprised at how many people said thank you – and you know…they really meant it. Some stopped and said thank you! You’ll have to let me know if you are volunteering at PEI (or running it)…it’s going to be my first FULL!

  7. I volunteered for the first time last November and loved it! It feels great to be in the race atmosphere, but not have any stress leading up to the starting gun. I’ll be volunteering at my second race in 2 weeks 🙂
    That’s so unfortunate that the trail conditions led to so many injuries. I hate winter running because I hate being cold, but it’s truly the worst when the ground is covered in ice and you can’t comfortably run. Hopefully those runners can get back out there soon and enjoy their next race. My first race of 2014 was an icy/slushy mess. I’d been training hard for it and was so bummed that I was forced to run slow, but I guess I should be thankful I didn’t end up injured.

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  9. Pingback: Running: What I Loved about Volunteering. | Piper's Run

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