Running was never my “thing”.
The thought of doing a timed race sounded so incredibly daunting. It was a milestone I always wanted to accomplish, but just never felt it was something I could. That all changed when I found out about runDisney. If I couldn’t get motivated to run a Disney race, then I don’t know what would!
I decided to take the plunge and sign up for the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon and was so excited. I had a great time and one of the reasons why was because of the event volunteers. Having strangers get so excited and be so supportive was truly moving. Everyone had a smile on their face and it definitely kept me going. Headed back to our hotel room that night, I decided that I wanted to add a new item to my bucket list – to volunteer at a runDisney event. I was lucky enough to get a couple of shifts for the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
You may not realize all the details that go to a runDisney event. Before volunteering, I only saw a fraction of the organization that goes into running a seamless event. One thought that kept coming to my mind while I was volunteering during the marathon weekend was, “wow, Disney truly thinks of everything”.
As you check-in to volunteer for your shift, you receive a snack bag and a bottle of water so you will not go hungry or thirsty during your shift. The majority of shifts start before the sun goes up, so you receive a jacket with reflective strips on it so you will be visible. Every volunteer is assigned a specific bus that transports them to their respective destination. For the marathon there were 56 buses stationed to transport volunteers. Seeing how much goes in behinds the scenes definitely makes me appreciate the event so much more.
One of my favorite parts about volunteering during the marathon weekend was being stationed at a water stop. This was one of the sections I remember from my first race. All of the volunteers cheering you on – and of course handing out the water you desperately need! The best part, was that I got to see the entire race field come through. From the wheelchair athletes, elite runners, first-time marathoners, and of course the balloon ladies – I got to cheer them all on.
It was truly inspiring to be able to see a thousands of people realizing their milestones. So many hours, sweat, and tears go into training for a race (no matter the distance), that when you finally accomplish it there is no better feeling.
If you would like to find out more about the volunteer opportunities with runDisney, check them out here!
Have you ever volunteered for a runDisney race? What were your thoughts? Share in the comments!