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 lifelong race-day memories.
But don’t take our word for it—hear from former Marathon volunteers in Queens and the Bronx, in their own words, about why you should volunteer at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon.
1. To Celebrate Your Borough
Runners reach the halfway point of the 26.2-mile course as they cross the Pulaski Bridge from Brooklyn into Queens, and soon after they arrive in their third borough, they have a team of dedicated volunteers ready to cheer them on through Long Island City. As one volunteer at the Mile 14 station put it, “The Mile 14 volunteers are as diverse as the borough it is located in. Every year, the 14th mile welcomes volunteers from groups such as alumni associations, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and high schools, as well as individuals.”
That combination of local pride and race-day energy keeps these groups coming back every first Sunday in November, as that volunteer also observed, “Many of the Mile 14 volunteers return to the 14th mile to welcome the Marathon runners to the world’s borough.”
2. For the Sense of Community
Another volunteer at the Mile 15 station—also in Long Island City—spoke about the spirit that unites runners, volunteers, and spectators on race day. “Our station brings families, neighbors, and friends together serving the world with a whole lot of love.” Another volunteer at that same station commented, “Where else in the world can you fall in love with over 50,000 people, from all over the world, in one day?”
3. To Pay it Back
One volunteer at the Mile 20 station in the South Bronx was clearly impressed by the level of support from volunteers in the Bronx, where runners commonly hit “the wall.”
“I have run the New York City Marathon 15 times,” he said, now having moved to another side of the race course. “I volunteer in the Bronx because the Bronx was there for me every time to get me through the last 10K. I want to give back to the community that helped me.” He explained that, in an effort to give runners that same level of support he felt on one of the toughest parts of the course, “We’ve created a team slogan, ‘THE WALL IS GONE,’ because if you can make it through the Bronx, you are going to finish the race.”
4. For a Fun Story
Another volunteer at the Mile 20 station recalled, “We even helped P. Diddy get through his marathon with our massage sticks,” referring to the Harlem-born hip-hop artist’s five-borough run in 2003.
Whether the runner they’re helping is a best-selling recording artist, or just one of the 50,000-plus individuals hoping to break through “the wall,” these volunteers do all they can to make sure that each runner leaves their aid station believing that “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.”
If those quotes moved you to get involved on November 3, then sign up to volunteer now!