Giving Back to the Run Community

Have you ever volunteered for a race? I find it to be a very rewarding part of being a runner. I absolutely love being there to help out, to cheer on other runners, and to support runners at aid stations or finish lines. This is only the third time I've volunteered for a race and I want to make a point to do it more often. I especially loved the race company I helped this past weekend, Coastal Trail Runs.

Coastal Trail Runs organizes small trail runs and some pavement runs (as Zoom Running Events) mostly in Northern California. There are a couple in Southern California and Oregon as well. I heard about the organization from Paul at work, signed up for the email list, and wanted to get involved. My Labor Day race was planned by this group as well.

I headed out to Muir Beach super early for the Coyote Ridge Trail Run, arriving there around 6:15 am. The race director set me up with my first job, directing runners to the parking area, and gave me a bright orange vest and flag. I directed people toward the parking lot for about an hour and a half until the race started at 8 am.

Safety first.

After that I headed back to the start/finish area to help set up the finish line goodies. We put out so many snacks - peanut butter filled pretzels, potato chips, oreos, candy bars, brownies, cinnamon rolls, M&Ms, trail mix, pub mix, bananas, Clif bars, orange, watermelon - I'm sure I'm missing more food items. It's safe to say there was great finish food. They also had many kinds of soda, water, sparkling water, and Clif sports drink. Once we started getting finishers of the longer races, they added hot soup and beer to the mix.

Once we set up the finish line we had some downtime until there were lots of people milling about. I stood near the finish line and cheered my best for everyone running through. It's so inspiring to me to cheer for other runners, so much so that sometimes I feel chills. Bizarre I know. (Or not...anyone else?) Brian from PavementRunner came by finishing the 10 mile and I was pumped to cheer for him too.

The runners coming through the finish line were super happy with the trail course and raved about the gorgeous views. Believe me, I was starting to wish I'd run the race myself! There were a number of distances to choose from, including a 7 mile, 10 mile, 20 mile, marathon, and 50K. I saw many types of people participating from runners pushing for the pace to hikers just happy to enjoy the trails. Many people seemed to know each other from other community Coastal Trail Run events, and I loved talking to the people about their experiences. I saw a few of the same runners and volunteers at the Los Gatos event the following Monday.

Meeting the volunteers was especially great; I'm hoping to volunteer with them again soon as well as to run more of the events. I have a busy race schedule for the fall, but I'll be going back to this group when I can. As an added bonus - the race director gave me a bright green Headsweats hat with the Coastal Trail Runs logo as a thank you.

Super comfy hat

If you haven't volunteered for a race before and you have time, check it out. I bet you'll enjoy giving back to the run community too!


  1. I need to get on volunteering. It always makes me feel awesome!

  2. Great post!!! Cheering at and spectating races was a huge motivation behind me starting to is so inspiring. I need to take the time more often to give back to the running community, instead of always being a runner!

    1. Thanks! I love volunteering, I bet you would too. :)

  3. I haven't volunteered yet, but know the thrill of cheering and supporting other runners through cross country. I want to volunteer with Girls on the Run... I can only imagine how amazing that would be!

    1. I have thought about GOTR and not done it - I agree it would be so fun!


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