Woodys: Volunteers Needed

My skin is raw and I’m bleeding where my sports bra had been rubbing against my skin for the last 15K. Chances are if you have run for any length of time, you can relate to the excruciating pain of chafing.

My skin is raw and I’m bleeding where my sports bra had been rubbing against my skin for the last 15K.

Chances are if you have run for any length of time, you can relate to the excruciating pain of chafing.

I’m at an aid station explaining the source of my woes to an attentive race volunteer. I’m starting to unravel and I threaten to tear off my sports bra in dramatic fashion for instant relief.

As the volunteer clearly has experience dealing with emotional runners, she talked me down and handed over a Popsicle stick with Vaseline.

Volunteers.

What would we do without them? There would be no races, no medals, no aid stations and no finish lines without volunteers.

They are the lifeline of races.

Next weekend, race organizers and their team of volunteers will put on the 18th edition of Woody’s RV World Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K in Red Deer.

It will take some 300 volunteers to put on the Sunday race, which includes the year-long planning for the big day and the takedown after the last runner crosses the finish line.

But as race director Jason Hazlett tells me, organizers still need about 40 to 50 people for course marshalling or prepping the finish line food for runners. If you are interested in volunteering sign up on the race website.

This year the official race charity is the Red Deer Hospice. Hazlett said the organization is sending 20 volunteers to help on race day. Hazlett gave a shout out to all the volunteers who help make the race a reality every year. Experienced course marshals are always welcomed, said Hazlett.

“We have volunteers who have been in the same place for 15 years,” said Hazlett. “They also know the route very well and their job. It’s so nice to have volunteers like that. It’s also comforting to runners.”

Some big changes are afoot for this year’s race.

The race expo and race package pick up has moved to Camille J. Lerouge School’s gym (5530 – 42A Ave.) from the Black Knight Inn. The expo will open throughout the entire race. Race pick up is 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Artists Brian McArthur and Dawn Detarando designed the medals and the top finisher beer steins for this year’s run.

Hazlett said the Saturday before the race will be busy as the city’s public market opens for the first time this year. Runners can access the expo and the Friendship Run (9 a.m.) from 55th Street.

Big numbers are also expected for the race.

Both the 10K and the kids’ races are sold out.

But there is still room to register for the half-marathon and marathon.

Hazlett said they will should have close to 180 marathoners, the largest number in about six years.

“We would love to get 1,000 runners with our half and full combined,” said Hazlett.

Registration and volunteer information is available at www.reddeermarathon.ca.

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Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter and Instagram. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com.

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