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.
But don’t take our word for it—hear from former marathon volunteers in Brooklyn, in their own words, about why you should volunteer at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon.
1. The Gratitude
Those running the TCS New York City Marathon clearly appreciate everything volunteers do to make their race day go well. “Every single volunteer gets a ‘thank you’ from every runner that passes,” said a volunteer from the Mile 3 station in Bay Ridge. Another volunteer, from the Mile 8 station near Brooklyn Academy of Music, also praised the runners: “So many say thank you and are so grateful, even though you chose to be there,” adding, “You signed up to help, but they are always grateful for the volunteers.”
2. The Sense of Community
“Everyone at the station is looking to achieve on common goal,” said a volunteer from the Mile 5 station in Sunset Park. And as the captain of Clinton Hill’s Mile 9 station put it, “The best thing about volunteering is how this one group of strangers can become a family and get a block party started in the middle of one of the biggest races in the world.”
A volunteer at the Mile 10 station, just a mile later in Williamsburg, remarked upon how many different walks of life volunteers come from. “From high schools, to colleges, to community running organizations,” they remarked. “There are U.S. Certified Track Coaches who’ve been to the Olympics and there are students who are just trying to help their community. Everyone is welcomed and supported when they volunteer.”
3. The Nostalgia
For those who have been lucky enough to run the five boroughs in the past, volunteering on race day can take on a special significance. As one volunteer from the Mile 6 station said,“I started volunteering after I ran the marathon. It was something important to me and I wanted to keep being a part of it.”
4. The Inspiration
“It’s an inspirational experience when you see someone triumphing over their hardships, and you just walk away with a pep in your step afterwards,” said a volunteer from the Mile 6 station near South Slope. And as a volunteer at the Mile 8 station in Fort Greene said, “You see athletes in wheelchairs go by, blind runners, and even the elite runners, but they are all accomplishing the same thing. It inspires you to want to run the marathon next year, or to come back and be inspired all over again.”
5. The Challenge
Volunteering may not seem as hard as, well, running a marathon, but giving back can be a rewarding challenge in its own right. As one volunteer from Williamsburg’s Mile 10 station put it, “Volunteers have to be prepared for everything. All runners depend on them throughout the entire race,” moving on to say, “It’s not just about helping the elite or those who are fast—it’s about helping everyone, from the winner to the very last racer.”
If those quotes moved you to get involved on November 3, then sign up now to volunteer!