It may be just another Saturday to you and me, but to an exclusive set, April 21 is extraordinary. Everywhere you look, the day will produce winners. From the first competitor successfully across the finish line, to the last contender straining to make it before the clock runs out. Runners competing against themselves to deliver a personal best or the rookie that just wants to know what it feels like to cross the finish line for the first time, a challenge which can only be conquered through hours of training, sheer will and rugged determination. However, once successfully completed, victory wipes out the memory of the struggle.
But not one single medal can be awarded. No one will successfully reach his or her goal. Hearts will be broken. It will be as if April 21 did not even happen unless the Carmel Volunteer shows up, too. As if running alongside every participant in the second annual Carmel Marathon, the Carmel Volunteer, in spirit, carries each and every runner across the finish line.
The Carmel Volunteer is a must to assemble the race packets. Without the Carmel Volunteer, who will man the water stations or direct the runners when to turn left and when to turn right? And most important, a missing Carmel Volunteer means the championship metals would lay in a box at the side of the road, never to be worn around the neck of a champion.
Gee Lawton, volunteer coordinator for the event, said, “We will require 500 volunteers this year and there is a time slot and job to fit any interest or ability. Not all jobs occur on race day. Many tasks for a successful race occur in the weeks leading up to the race.”
Money raised from the event will benefit two worthy causes. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a unique program, Back on My Feet. The latter charity is designed to help people who experience the struggles of life. The program helps them find self-esteem and learn how to overcome challenges through the sport of running. On April 21, runners will set out to conquer 26.2 miles. The Carmel Volunteer will make sure the only challenges they face on race day are wind and hills.