Medical Volunteers Get Runners Safely Across the Finish Line on Marathon Day

The TCS New York City Marathon brings 50,000 runners through 26.2 miles of city streets, and guiding them through the five boroughs are more than 10,000 race-day volunteers. With volunteer stations in every borough and on nearly every mile of the race, there are plenty of opportunities to be a part of the 2019 race and make your own life-long race-day memories. As a medical professional, your expertise can be used to make sure every runner completes their race safely.

But don’t take our word for it—hear from a former marathon medical volunteer, in her own words, about why you should volunteer at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon. 

Medical volunteers come from a wide range of medical professions, some that you would not  think of for a sporting event, and use their expertise to assist runners before, during, and after the race. Their invaluable contributions make the entire event possible.

Volunteering as a medical professional can be hard. Finding time in a busy schedule is a challenge. However, it is worth every moment, because volunteering at the marathon is unlike any other experience and it gives people the opportunity to not only give back to the community at one of New York’s biggest sporting events, but also to work with other medical professionals outside of their field.

A group of medical volunteers at the 2018 New York City Marathon

Rachel Deppa, center, volunteered in 2018 with other students in her physical therapy program

“I think this volunteer opportunity is especially important because there are so many medical volunteers working together. I feel like there can be a gap between different medical professionals and this really taught us what each of us is capable of and skilled at and how tasks can be divided so that the patient gets the best possible care,” says Rachel Deppa, a recent graduate of the physical therapy program at Stony Brook University. Deppa volunteered in 2018 with her classmates. For her, the draw was being a part of the marathon without having to run it. “It’s such a famous event that I’ve always wanted to experience, and this was a great way to do so without having to run 26.2 miles,” she said. 

“I was at the finish line for a good portion of the day and it was pretty amazing to see the joy and release of emotion as they finished. Many people were running for reasons close to their hearts and they would cross the finish line and just start crying out of joy,” she remembers, “It was wonderful to meet so many different people with so many amazing stories and be able to help them after they achieved something they have been working towards for months or years.”

A group of medical volunteers at the 2018 New York City Marathon

Deppa, far left, with her volunteer group.

As a physical therapist who often works with athletes, Deppa understands how important it is for medical professionals to give their time and volunteer. “No matter how much you train you can’t predict everything that is going to happen on race day. It’s necessary to have medical staff present to deal with these unexpected and sometimes life-threatening situations. These runners push themselves to the extremes and when they stop running, they need our help, not only for their safety, but to make the overall experience enjoyable so they continue racing in the future. There need to be medical volunteers,” she says.

If you are a certified medical professional and are interested in using your knowledge to volunteer at the TCS New York City Marathon, check out our available positions. Even if your profession is not sports-related, there could still be a place for you! A range of specialists is needed for race day, from physical therapists to pharmacists.


Katie Manzi

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