This morning I woke up earlier than I have in months and headed to Central Park to volunteer again. When I found out this week was National Volunteer Week, I decided it would be nice to give back and signed up for the NYRR Run as One 4M. I was hoping to get inspired to train.
I was also interested to see how the new security measures work out. In the official email to volunteers, they asked that you don't bring a bag, and if you did- you would have to check it at the volunteer area. Upon arriving, if you had anything with you, a security guard asked to see it before you could get into the barricaded off volunteer area. NYRR provided a secure area for bags and also a clear plastic bag for anything you needed to take with you on the course. The Head of Volunteer Operations took a moment before we all headed out to talk about the new security measures and working with the NYPD to implement them. So, it seems like no garage cans and clear bags are becoming a permanent thing. I'm interested to see how it will affect me as a runner and next winter. I understand why they're doing it. Is it annoying? Absolutely.
I signed up for Amenities not really knowing what it was. I just knew it wasn't course marshaling or baggage and I was interested in seeing a different part of the race. It happens to be passing out the water, bagels and apple at the finish line. We set up the area and then our team leaders gathered us and we went around the circle telling our name and occupations. It was nice getting to know what your fellow volunteers did. Then it was time to start handing out the amenities!
Guys? If you're a runner and you know the rule is one bagel per person, please follow this rule. It makes it super awkward as a volunteer when I have to tell you no, you can't have another bagel (seriously, you just ran 4 miles what do you need with 2 bagels?! You barely burned off one). As a back of the packer, it really irritates me because thanks to you, I might not get to have a bagel. Luckily, that didn't happen- but they did run out of apples quickly. Seeing people fill plastic bags full of food (that they carried with them during the race for that specific purpose. I can't make this stuff up) or watching someone put a bagel in their pocket then grab for another one from another volunteer, really disgusted me. Please don't do those things. It hurts my heart.
Next time, I think I'd rather do anything else. But it was a beautiful day and it was really nice when people thanked you- I noticed that happened less at this location. Note to self: Thank the volunteers who handle your food!
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