Controversy is swirling around the city over the Mayor’s decision to proceed with the ING NYC Marathon as planned on Sunday. Critics argue that the thousands of volunteers, medical personnel and police officers that help along the route should be focusing attention on Hurricane Sandy cleanup and relief instead. Valid point, but, as Bloomberg pointed out, the Marathon is a major tourist dollar injection into the local economy, which small businesses could certainly use right now. So if you are a huge athletic supporter and want to help out, here’s how.
Given that man-power and resources are spread very thin right now, and many people who signed up to volunteer have been impacted by the storm and will be unable to perform their assigned duties, the Marathon needs lots of volunteers to help execute this inter-borough trek (normally they have about 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 staff). The roles are way more fundamental than just holding out cups of water and bananas to runners as they pass by (not that hydration and sustenance are not important, but the moms and friends of runners can handle that). Trained medical personnel are needed to staff the 22 Aid Stations along the route (apply here). Non-medical volunteers are especially needed in the following areas:
- Start on Staten Island (ING will provide transportation from Manhattan)
- Course marshals on First Avenue and Fifth Avenue
- Poncho distribution in the post-finish area
- Saturday night bib distribution late shift at the Expo
- Register as a Stand-by Volunteer for Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday if you are willing to volunteer in any needed capacity. You will be contacted for an assignment as soon as needs are clear.
The course mostly avoids areas hit hardest by Sandy. The biggest challenge will be getting runners to the start on Staten Island. Full service is expected to resume on the Staten Island Ferry by Saturday, but the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is still flooded. ING is working on alternate transportation options. Given how long it took folks to get around town today, runners and volunteers are advised to allow plenty of extra time to get to the starting line and volunteer posts.
Follow Rachel for more volunteer opportunities and all things #Sandy @RaeinBK