Would you like to be at the heart of the action of one the biggest mass-participation events in Wales?
You don’t need to run to get involved at the ABP Newport Marathon and 10K, which is why we caught up with our Volunteer Coordinator Tor Hands to find out more about volunteering at the event.
Tor said: “The Extra Milers, as R4W volunteers are known, are vital to the success of race day. For the 2023 ABP Newport Marathon and 10K event, we are looking for around 250 volunteers to help out in a variety of roles. You don’t need any experience to get involved, just be enthusiastic and ready to have a great morning out! It’s really easy to sign up as a volunteer – just follow the link on our webpage or send me an email. “
Event organisers Run 4 Wales are looking to fill various event day volunteering roles with volunteers invited to choose the role that they prefer. Why not help on the Start-Finish Line, handing out medals and t-shirts to runners, join the welcoming Bag Drop team and chat to runners as they drop off their bag or help out as a Course Marshal?
Run 4 Wales are also looking for small groups to host one of 6 water stations around the course where runners will rehydrate. Caldicot Running Club will be waiting in Redwick with water, encouragement “and a cwtch if needed”. Ladies Captain Polly Lord says “Newport Marathon holds a special place in our hearts – it’s our local race. See you all at mile 12.5!”
The Gwent Police Cadets are hosting Stephenson Street water station, returning for their second time in this location after enjoying the 2021 marathon. PCSO Alex Donne says “It is vital for our young people to experience many different roles, environments and experiences. We know that assisting with R4W events allows our young people to engage with their communities and offer support to some amazing events throughout Gwent. “
There’s still four more water stations up for grabs, so get in touch with Tor and her team if you’d like to get involved.
Volunteers aged 14 and over are welcome (although if aged 14 – 17 you need to bring along a friend or relative over 18). Tor told us “We often have young volunteers get in touch for more information, then come along, dragging their mum, dad or older sibling!”
Volunteers are a valued part of the R4W team and Tor says “the Extra Milers tell us that they volunteer mainly to be part of the event and to give something back, as well as to meet new people and have a new experience. Whatever their motivation, we are extremely grateful to have the enthusiasm and energy of all our Extra Milers on race days and we know the runners appreciate it too!“
Emma Keen, from Newport and a long-time R4W volunteer says “I absolutely love volunteering at the marathon events and always wear some colourful headgear to cheer the runners on! I volunteered at the last Newport marathon at a water station (although in 2023 I’ll be on the Finish Line) and just to see the runners approach was quite emotional.”
Race Director Steve Brace says “you can’t beat being part of a mass participation race and it’s fantastic that volunteers can experience the heart of race day action, sharing in the excitement and jubilation of runners achieving their goals. Runners really appreciate the support of the Extra Milers, looking forward to their cheers at the water station as they pass through the beautiful Gwent Levels then being welcomed into the Finish Line, after a great 26 mile run, to receive their much-deserved finisher items. “
WHAT IS IT LIKE VOLUNTEERING AT A RUNNING EVENT
Do you feel like getting involved? Wondering what happens on race day? We asked Tor to explain the volunteer journey in more detail.
“Volunteers sign up for the event and choose their volunteer role online, then a week before event day they’ll receive a detailed information sheet. This includes arrival times, the name of their volunteer supervisor, where to park and sign in, as well as the race schedule.
“On event day, we meet at the Volunteer Welcome Hub on Usk Way (apart from the water station volunteers who will go straight to their course location). Here volunteers will meet their supervisor and fellow volunteers, collect their t-shirt and lunch pack, then enjoy a hot drink and snack whilst waiting for everyone to arrive. It’s a great time to meet new volunteers, see some familiar faces and ask any questions. It can be really busy, with around 100 volunteers all in one place but everyone is buzzing with excitement and looking forward to the day ahead.
“Extra Milers all receive an event t-shirt and bag, as well as free parking, a lunch pack, snacks and drinks. R4W is also gifts Tempo Time Credits to all volunteers, a national volunteer reward scheme (find out more here www.tempotimecredits.org./use)
“Once everyone has arrived, supervisors take their team to their location (the Finish Line or the Bag Drop area) and carry out an event briefing. Then it’s down to work, getting set up and organised ready for the runners who’ll be on their way to the event, excited about the challenge ahead.
“All volunteer teams are led by experienced Run 4 Wales supervisors, many of whom support us at every event, returning year after year. They are visible in their black Extra Miler t-shirts and will welcome, sign-in and brief their teams on event day, as well as leading and supporting them throughout the day.
”So if you’re up to the challenge of being a part of one of Wales’s biggest events on the sporting calendar, why not become a volunteer at this year’s Newport Marathon on Saturday, April 16th?