Volunteer Power!

Last night Warren and I volunteered to help out Mark, owner of Race Day Timing Services, put the team race bib packages together for the TC10k race happening this coming Sunday. There are 14,000 runners registered, 342 teams and since people can still register today on-line or after today at the Fitness Expo on Friday, there will be even more runners running.

We were asked to show up at 5:00pm in the lobby of one of the condo buildings on Bear Mountain and there were a few other volunteers already there and had started. We could see boxes sitting on the counter with numbers on the front of them and the first box had 1-1999 and then 2000-2999 and so on. We were told to grab a bag that had the team list inside of it and then find the box that had the first number on the list and go through the list until all bib numbers were in that bag. Some of the team lists were one page and some of the team lists were two or three pages. I remember grabbing one list that had 98 people on it and I know that the Sole Sisters Victoria team had a  lot of runners cause one of the volunteers mentioned the list was never-ending. Good for that team though to be able to get so many people to join.

More people arrived and more bags were getting filled with the bib numbers. After awhile we started to have one person per box and we would have the first person fill the bag with the numbers they had from the list and then pass it down the line. We were finding though after we had a break for some pizza from Jack’s Place, that people some of us were just standing at their box waiting. We found it was wasting time. So, Warren and I being the leaders we are wanted to help get things going and running more efficient. We were making our way through the team bags the way things were but the process felt slow. When we were asked to take part we had been told that we would be there until 10:00pm and but before we made the changes around 8:00pm, it didn’t look like we would be done by then.

I started going through the bags and if the first number on the list wasn’t 1-1999 I took it from the pile and Warren gave it to the person who was Volunteer_Powerworking on the number the in that box. Soon volunteers had bags in the boxes and we were on an even quicker roll. We then had some volunteers work together and call out numbers that were on the lists and that made things go faster as well. Some of the volunteers didn’t like having numbers told to them and it is easier to read from the list so they worked solo. I know that I do better at reading numbers to someone so I read Katie and she pulled the numbers on the list. You find your strengths in situations and go with them.

Katie and I were working on the 3000’s and once her pile was completed I started helping her Dad with the 1-1999. I was reading the numbers out and he was passing them to me. We would work our way through one list and I would start reading a number from the next bag that was on the stool. I didn’t give him a break and at one point he called me a ‘Task Master’. I laughed and told him that I was called Drill Sergeant Beattie at my work and he thought it was fitting.

While we were putting the bibs in the bags there were other volunteers going through the bags that we had done up. They were checking to see if all the bibs were in the bag and matched the list. If one was missing they would come over and ask for a number or sometimes we had transposed a number or two they would switch out the bib with the correct one. Once and awhile I would find that I would mix up numbers so I was trying to double-check I had the right ones but numbers start to blur after a while.

We finished stuffing all the bags around 9:30pm and it felt good to be done. Both Warren and I enjoyed helping out and would help out again in the future. It was neat to see how things are done to prepare for a race and we only did a small part of it. I know there are many other volunteers out there preparing to make the TC10k a successful event on Sunday.

Once we got home I found I was a bit wired. I was super chatty and excited that I had helped out. It made me feel good that I had gone and done something new to help out fellow runners. When was the last time you volunteered for something and how did you feel afterwards?

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