Saturday, May 3, 2008

Require Volunteerism for Clinton Lake Ultra?

I was just re-reading the Trail Runner magazine article about volunteerism...and how many trail races are now requiring runners to document a minimum amount of trail maintenance hours as a pre-requisite to registering for their race. I vaguely remember signing Buffalo Pat's volunteer form for the Vermont 100 DURING the McNaughton 100 mile race! Is that right, Pat? I was just hanging out at the aid station and suddenly Pat runs to his car and grabs an official form for me to sign supposedly documenting his volunteer heroics at Clinton Lake. I sure hope that's all I signed! I wasn't in a sane state of mind, buddy.

I've toyed with this "required volunteering" notion for the Clinton Lake ultra. My preferred "requirement" would be for runners to commit to volunteering at any race in any capacity within the 12 months proceeding the Clinton Lake race. No RD signature needed for confirmation. You'd just check off a box and list any race that you've volunteered at (or plan to volunteer at) before the Clinton Lake event. Easy, eh? What would society gain from this feeble gesture? Hopefully an expanded group of volunteers. If not, then maybe a little guilt on the part of runners that would translate into increased appreciation for those that do volunteer. It would be cool to list all the races that people have volunteered at too. Heck, maybe even track the estimated volunteer hours as well. Then I could advertise that "Clinton Lake runners have dedicated blank number of hours to the running community." With 125 runners every year, those volunteer hours would add up fast.

What do you think? Good idea?


Anonymous said...

It would be great for conscientious RD's to suggest volunteerism. I'm not always excited about someone mandating such activities. However, to make people aware that help is needed at races and that our trails don't magically appear in race-day condition is good.

Chris Ⓥ said...

I don't want to be too pushy, but I do want to encourage people to volunteer. If it's on the honor system with no required confirmation from RDs, then it should motivate people to give back, but not be an undue burden.