Instead of highlighting some more of my favorite races, today’s “Fabulous February” tip is to volunteer at a race. Below are some of my favorite races at which to volunteer. These picks are based on various things: the perks you get, the atmosphere, and the cause for which the race is raising money. Whether you pick one of these races or find another one, you’ll hopefully find that volunteering is a lot of fun, rewarding, and inspirational.
Any ORRC Race: New this year, ORRC is offering all volunteers a free entry to one of their other races up to a 10k distance. And, they’ve done away with those analog “ORRC bucks.” You now get a code that will calculate your discount on the ORRC race you want to use it for. The ORRC Vernonia Marathon and Half Marathon on April 9th needs a lot of volunteers, as a point-to-point course; and I’d love to meet you at the ORRC Up the Lazy River 10k on Memorial Day … but any ORRC race would be happy to have you. To volunteer, visit the ORRC website and click on the race you’re interested in. Each race will either have a volunteer sign-up through their registration page or a contact email, just let them know you want to help!
The Ladybug Run for CDH Awareness 5k/10k: Scheduled for Saturday, July 29, the Ladybug Run 5k/10k starts and finishes in Tigard’s Cook Park. 100% of registration fees go directly to the Ladybug CDH Foundation. CDH stands for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, and it’s a birth defect that affects 1 in 2,500 babies, nearly 50% of whom do not survive. The volunteer race organizer, Liz Dooley, has a very personal reason for her impressive work for this event and Foundation; you’ll be able to meet that adorable reason at the race! Volunteering for Liz and The Ladybug Run for CDH Awareness is great in part because of the cause, and partly because everyone at this race is friendly and fun.
Bridge of the Goddess Half Marathon and 10k: Run With Paula puts on some great races; volunteers get sponsor swag, like a Rogue burger & beer, and a t-shirt.. More importantly, RWP volunteers spend hours getting thanked, receiving high-fives, and sometimes even hugs at the Bridge of the Goddess Half Marathon and 10k where every participant is a Goddess. But the most sincere thank you (and hug) always comes from Paula herself at the end of your volunteer shift.
Oregon Brewery Running Series Events: Free beer. That’s what you get when you volunteer for an Oregon Brewery Series Event. And here’s the best part … you can go early, run the route yourself, and then cheer people on for an hour or so. After that, meet back up with those friendly people for a beer, courtesy of the Series!
Any race benefiting a cause you care about: Just … because.