Helping out at a marathon, whether voluntarily or as a paid member of staff in bigger events is a great way to give back. A lot of marathons are fundraisers, so you’re working while helping communities and individuals who are trying to push their bodies to a new challenge. If you’re helping out at the next big marathon event, take a look at our tips.
Have your first aid team ready
We all know there’s a lot of potential for injuries and ill health when doing a marathon. That’s why it takes months of training, at least. And even then, there are obstacles. Sometimes literal obstacles like an uneven road, or less literal obstacles like new trainers that haven’t been broken in or finding a sudden allergy to orange slices. People twist ankles, wear down limbs, have trouble breathing, and a number of other instances of giving it their all and their body “noping” out of the situation.
Make sure you have people dotted throughout the race or are perhaps following it, that have their first aid kit handy. Maybe have a buggy or some other motorised small vehicle nearby so you can get the important people to a runner faster, and if there is a certificate in basic manoeuvres like CPR going about, all the better. Click here to make sure you’ve got the best staff available for a mass participation sports event where you will need a reliable team to make sure things go smoothly. Companies like WeAreMassive for example hire out complete teams of event management professionals to maintain a smooth, safe event for all stakeholders
Make water readily available
It’s really important at these mass participation sports events to make sure that everyone is hydrated. It’s a situation that allows you to become very dehydrated very quickly. It’s important to dot a few people with tables along the route of the marathon to ensure that everyone is getting the water they need. You can add a few things to the tables that might be of help, like orange slices and such, but most likely if it’s a marathon, everyone will want to grab a bottle without slowing down.
Make signs to break up the monotony
Another thing these tables will do is break up the run. Running, even in a marathon, can be pretty boring. There’s only so much you can appreciate the trees and streets or the other running participants before your mind wanders. Consider helping to break up this nothing mindset with signs. Encouraging signs, perhaps with a joke printed on them, could be very much appreciated while running. Even better, they can serve as markers for how far the runners have come in the marathon.
Consider spreading out. As we mentioned, the run can be monotonous. Try not to gather at the finish line, which isn’t the be-all and end-all. Runners are encouraged to think of the points between the start and finish line as little chunks to bite off as they go, so as to not go crazy. So, if you’re not needed elsewhere, consider spreading out your team throughout the route. It could be needed, if someone, say, bites off more than they can chew, and needs some medical help or to bow out. There’s no point in a twisted ankle being spotted at the finish line, for example.
And, if you are going to find a spot to cheer on the runners while they go, do just that. Stick to encouraging phrases, rather than telling the runners to go faster, or do better, or how much they’ve got to go. You’ll irritate them, to say the least.
IMAGE: https://unsplash.com/photos/NPFu4GfFZ7E (Unsplash)