By Mathias Eichler
The summer is coming to a close and the running media (Twitter!) has been hotly debating on where our sport is heading. There are lots of worries and concerns and I am working on a larger article to address them individually, but the ‘elephant in the room’ that’s barely addressed, is the need for volunteers at every race. Our sport is growing, and becoming more professional on the upper end, but the events can only happen if people volunteer at aid stations, at pickup, during course marking and sweeping. The human power required to put on these events is enormous, and perhaps I am not long enough ‘in the game’ yet, but when I see even popular and very established races send out desperate emails and social posts asking for volunteers at upcoming events I can’t help but worry and wonder how the growth will affect our sport. And this doesn’t even include the need to volunteer at trail work parties that help maintain the trails we love to race.
This is not just a post meant to highlight and celebrate all the volunteers who make these events possible, but is meant as a challenge to all us folks talking and debating and thinking about our sport. The importance of volunteers is often emotionally celebrated, but rarely highlighted in a honest and serious fashion.
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