Lisa Smith-Wallace has volunteered at the Brighton Half for a number of years. Here she tells us about her experience helping out at the race.
I got involved in volunteering for Brighton Half Marathon in 2014 when I joined the committee at my running club. My first ‘job’ was to recruit 20 marshals from the club and I decided to join the team. Myself and the club chair came to The Sussex Beacon office to meet David, Martin and others to find out what our role would be on the day so we could relay that back to our willing club volunteers. Apart from the years that I have run the event I have volunteered every year.
On race day, we meet at our allocated zone and are road marshals for the day. We are briefed, given our hi-vis and security lanyards and then each of us is allocated a road closure to manage. The barriers are already set up so we are there to prevent traffic from getting access on to the course, to answer questions from nervous runners at the start and also questions from the public. At the end of the shift, we wait until we are given permission from security that the roads can be reopened.
The best highlight for me at such a high-profile local race is that as a road marshal, we are in a premium position to see friends, family members, fellow club members and others from the local running community as they race past. The BHWRC club volunteers come armed with whistles and cowbells and we look out for our jade and black club vests with pride to give our members a massive cheer to support them on their way along the route.
Tips for would-be volunteers
Tips and advice that I would give relates to the usual February race date. Wear lots of layers and bring more layers with you. It is an early start and the road closures are in place an hour before the race starts so it can be really cold.
Bring a flask and snacks too! We are provided with a packed lunch but staying warm takes up a lot of energy. Also, even in February you should consider wearing sun cream as some of us have been sun burnt in the past and not been aware until later in the day. Have fun and enjoy!
Keep your spare layers in a comfortable back pack that you can wear under your hi-vis, unfortunately there are some opportunists about – sad advice but it is something we tell our volunteers each year.
Volunteer at the 2022 event!
Fancy volunteering with us on race day 2022? Sign up on our volunteering registration form and we’ll be in touch with more information.