Be Part of something amazing - Volunteer with us.
We have some amazing volunteers, who come from all walks of life. Some are runners but many are not. They are enthusiastic and lively, cheering and supporting our runners when they need it most. We have volunteers who help us out once or twice and others who come back year after year. All of them help to create an amazing race experience and our runners agree. After every event we receive hundreds of thank you messages, singing the praises of our volunteer team. We couldn’t put on our events without them and so we thought it would be a great idea to share some of their stories with you.
Charlotte & Thomas
Charlotte and Thomas have been volunteering with us for years! They are a mother and son team, who come with the additional bonus of musical talent! You may have seen and more likely heard Thomas over the years, on both the MBNA Chester Marathon and Essar Chester Half Marathon courses. Thomas is a talented drummer and forms part of a band who have played for our runners many times. He was only 9 years old when he first performed at one of our events and this October, he will be playing his 11th gig at the 10th MBNA Chester Marathon!
We asked both Charlotte and Thomas for a few words about their volunteering and what it means to them. This is what they said….
Thomas "I have always looked forward to when my mum comes up to me and says she got an email asking if I want to play at the marathons or half marathon because even when it’s raining the runners make it so enjoyable to sit down for 4-5 hours and play the drums nonstop till the end or until I can’t feel my arms!
Watching the runners go past dancing around always makes me smile but my mum’s dancing definitely doesn’t make me laugh!"
Charlotte "I thoroughly enjoy volunteering. As a runner, it’s great to give something back and I know how motivating a smile and cheer from the marshals can be. It’s great seeing such a range of abilities (and outfits) taking part. It’s even better marshalling next to the drummer – entertainment all morning! It always amazes me when runners go past and put their hands up clapping him, it must use up so much of their energy!
I remember listening to The Proclaimers 500 Miles repeated for over an hour, it could have got annoying(!) but the reaction from the runners was hilarious especially when they were all singing along. Some do funny dances, sing or just smile, one guy even ran up and played a tune on the drums himself then ran off clapping! I love the whole atmosphere when volunteering."
Thanks for Charlotte and Thomas for all the years of volunteering. We look forward to seeing them again at the marathon. Make sure you give them an extra big cheer when you pass by!
Ros & Jack
My interest in running started in 2011 as I volunteered to run the 2012 London Marathon to raise funds for my school, Dee Banks, to purchase adapted trikes.
I'm not a natural runner but following my marathon debut, I continued to do shorter runs and obstacle races and I was also becoming more involved with Jack and his family, so my focus changed a little. Jack was a wonderful young man with Down Syndrome and associated learning difficulties, which meant he also had a lot of behavioural issues but my intention was to get him out and about socialising.
I spotted the opportunity to marshal at the Essar Chester Half Marathon 2016 through a link on Facebook and got in touch with Pauline. I was on my own at the bottom of Parkgate Road and had to move bollards for a very stressed out dad-to-be with his wife clearly in labour in the passenger seat!!
The next time I volunteered, I enquired if I could bring Jack as an extra marshal, which was met with a very positive response! Jack was using a wheelchair for prolonged walking or standing at the time but it wasn’t a problem and an extremely accommodating team made sure we had everything we needed.
Jack proved to be a great motivation, even on his grumpy days (due to his own joint pain or seizure activity). He could always be coerced into a rousing chorus of "Come on Runners!!" or something similar and his presence spurred many a flagging runner on!!
So, 3 years down the line Jack and I have marshalled about 5 times, both the full marathon, the metric and the half!
Jack has endured 2 knee operations, he has lost 20kgs in weight and grown both in statue and character. He is now almost 15 years old, with an understanding of health and exercise and he has a purpose in the world when we are volunteering. His behaviour, which used to hold him back, is far more manageable and he loves to see people we know or family members competing in the events we marshal. After moving in with my family due to his unmanageable behaviour at home, and losing some weight, Jack has begun to understand fitness a little and this summer has participated in a Brio leisure Summer Boost scheme, swimming and using the gym 4 days a week!
It is lovely that the Chester Marathon has been part of this process....and Jack and I hope to continue marshalling into the future!!
You can be part of something amazing too!
We are always looking for more volunteers, so please get in touch if you or anyone you know would like to get involved. You don’t need any special skills, just common sense, a smile and plenty of enthusiasm.
As well as our thanks, and the thanks of thousands of runners, all our volunteers receive a technical race crew t-shirt, goody bag and refreshments.
Please go to http://www.activeleisureevents.co.uk/volunteer to sign up and volunteer with us.