If you’ve ever participated in the Mini or any race for that matter you know that volunteers are
key. Without volunteers there would be no race. How wonderful it is to see hundreds of
people giving their time to help others achieve their goals. As runners and athletes it’s our
choice and determination to drag ourselves out of bed before dawn so we can get a run in
before the heat of the day. But it’s even more amazing to see those supporting us gathering
before dawn to prep the course.
To make the Mini a reality it takes more than 600 volunteers! From the smiling faces
distributing shirts and race bibs at the expo to volunteers greeting you with medals, water
and post race food at the finish line and everyone in between. Each volunteer contributes to
making the event a huge success.
There are 10 aid stations on the course of the Mini. That alone equals more than 250 volunteers handing out water and Gatorade to you. We have so many wonderful groups and organizations return to help year after year. Memorial Girls Cross-Country team can be seen around mile 10. When asked why the girls return each year to help, Coach Paul Chellevold responded, “Our group appreciates the event that the mini-marathon puts on. The race organizational team always makes our job easy! The girls understand and appreciate what each athlete is going through in completing 13.1 miles and love to provide a smiling face and loud cheers to lift each runners spirit at a point in the race they need it the most! We understand the importance of being outstanding volunteers and contributing members of the community.”
Alissa Oleck has been volunteering with the Mini since it’s Inaugural year. Alissa recognizes it’s a lot of work for one person to coordinate an event of this size “but when you have lots of hands helping, it's not hard at all. I love Madison so I enjoy helping to promote our wonderful city and the great opportunities, like the Mini, that we have here.”
Jennifer Stevens also returns to volunteer every year. Jennifer, a runner herself; is with our charity partner Healthy Women, Healthy Babies and has been a big recruiter of volunteers. “I am always amazed at the different types of people that participate in running events and often think, as I watch them cross the finish line what motivates them to get through 13 miles on a hot Saturday morning. I can easily get choked up thinking about what they’ve gone through to accomplish that feat.”
We would love to personally thank and mention each volunteer by name, but the list is endless. From the volunteers collecting your gear check bags prior to the race to the ER doctors and nurses assisting in the medical tent. Everyone plays an important role.
To see the community come together on race day is a beautiful sight! So remember to look around. Take it all in. And thank the volunteers as you pass by. Without them, you wouldn’t be here and neither would we.
|Finish line preparations|
|Volunteers even wait out the storm and the rain|
|Red Arrow Families Water Station|