Aid Station Etiquette In Ultramarathon Running
In any running event (5ks, 10ks, marathons, and ultramarathons) there are volunteers that come out to give of their time. Because of this there is an etiquette that we as runners should observe to help volunteers do their jobs. These volunteers are usually at aid stations and at the finish line. Here are some pointers on how to treat these wonderful volunteers when interacting with them at aid stations.
1. Always thank the volunteers for giving of their time and help. Saying “thank you” is one of the best things we can do and should do when we leave an aid station. These volunteers sometime will spend their whole day volunteering at a race and the very least we can do is say “thank you.”
2. Aid station volunteers are not our servants. Aid station volunteers are not there for us to give commands to and to serve our every need.
3. Take out your earbuds/headphones. When listening to music make sure to take out your headphones when coming into an aid station. Aid station volunteers may need to communicate important information to you about weather, course conditions and/or other important information. If you have your music on then it becomes that much harder for volunteers to talk to you.
4. Have your bib number visible. At almost every aid station, in ultramarathon running, there are volunteers who track runners with bib numbers and if those numbers are not visible then it can be a difficult job to track all the runners coming through aid stations.
5. Call out your bib number when arriving/leaving an aid station. Calling out your bib number can really be helpful to those tracking runners. When leaving an aid station announcing that you are leaving along with your bid number, to the volunteer tracking runners, is also very helpful for the volunteers.
In conclusion following these pointers can make things a lot more enjoyable for the wonderful volunteers who come out to help. Without them these races could not happen. Always remember to thank them and this is probably the best thing we can do.