Volunteer Role Descriptions

The non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society relies on the support of nearly 4,000 volunteers annually. Join in! Run, cheer or volunteer.

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Volunteer opportunities exist as listed below:


Warehouse – Pre-Race Weekend

Driver

Warehouse drivers will assist the operations team in delivering and moving supplies from the warehouse to assigned locations on course. Based on your drivers qualification and skills you may be assigned to drive a car, van, suv, pick-up truck, 1 ton, 3 ton or 5 ton truck as required.

Warehousing Cleaning and Organizing Supplies

Prepare, sort out and clean course supplies such as cones, banners, safety vests and setting up various equipments as required and assigned during race week and event day.

Warehouse Support and Moving Supplies

Requires being physically capable of lifting up 35-50lbs (small child), working outdoors, have a driver’s licence, and the desire to commit to being a part of the operational backbone of the Vancouver International Marathon Society. Ability to work in a team environment and be supportive of the warehouse operational team be a self starter, motivated, innovative, flexible and patient.  One of the most important expectations for this role is being excited to support all the volunteers and participants on event week to make one of the largest marathons (& half marathons) in Canada a great success.

Expo

Captain

This is a leader of a team of volunteers. As a captain you will be taking on a leadership role and required to oversee several key responsibilities as you will be a leader of a group. Captains are responsible for recruiting other volunteers, identifying assistant captain within their teams who can help them in managing the group. In addition to attending all mandatory training sessions, learn the course route and be familiar with the proper coordination and management of their specific stations and zones as assigned. Captains pick up supplies and equipment necessary for their teams to do their job and also make sure that the team of volunteers they are in charge of are well looked after and provided with snacks and refreshments during the event.

Information Ambassador

Your role is to provide support to the public, to participants, their friends and families, and even to other volunteers at the Expo. As an Information Ambassador at the Expo you will be greeting runners, guests and the general public, answering questions related to the Expo, races, related events, city and attractions, and providing directions within the Expo and the immediate surrounding area.

The race day schedule is hectic and busy. Four races will run concurrently – the Marathon, the Marathon Relay, Half-Marathon, and 8k Race. Please ensure you know what time all the races and street festival events are happening.
Please remember you are a representative of the Society and need to ensure a safe and positive experience.

Course Map Host

Your role is to provide detailed information about the courses of the various races being hosted on race weekend – the Marathon, Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay and 8k Race. Offer support to the public, participants, their friends and families, and even to other volunteers at the Expo and on Race Day. This may include anything from answering questions about the course routes, event maps, provide alternate driving routes, giving transit times and option information to helping lost children. Please remember you are a representative of the Society and need to ensure a safe and positive experience.

Set-Up Crew

You will assist the event organizers under the leadership of your Expo Coordinators and Captains in setting up various stations and equipment. Some of the set-up areas will include Exhibition Booths and Package Pick-up. Some areas will require lifting of equipment and materials such as tables and chairs, please make sure you are physically fit to lift some of the materials before registering and volunteering as set-up crew. We highly encourage and recommend groups and teams to assist the society as set-up volunteers.

Clean Up Crew

You will assist the event organizers under the leadership of your Expo Coordinators and Captains in dismantling and cleaning up the key Expo areas, Each volunteer will be tasked to help with organizing individual areas, removing signage, and collecting any recycling or garbage left behind. Some areas will require lifting of equipment and materials such as tables and chairs. Please make sure you are physically fit to lift some of the materials before registering and volunteering as clean up crew.

Traffic Counter

Your role is to count guests entering the exhibition halls, and record this data using tools and equipment provided by organizers. Situate yourself in an inconspicuous location as to allow for full concentration on recording accurate attendance numbers.

Start

Captain

This is a leader of a team of volunteers. As a captain you will be taking on a leadership role and required to oversee several key responsibilities as you will be a leader of a group. Captains are responsible for recruiting other volunteers, identifying assistant captain within their teams who can help them in managing the group. In addition to attending all mandatory training sessions, learn the course route and be familiar with the proper coordination and management of their specific stations and zones as assigned. Captains pick up supplies and equipment necessary for their teams to do their job and also make sure that the team of volunteers they are in charge of are well looked after and provided with snacks and refreshments during the event.

Gear Check

Your role is to assist runners as they check their gear at the Start Line. Ensure all runners belongings are placed in the clear bags provided, and secured with a zip tie. Bags are to be labeled with runners bib tags. You are to assist runners removing the bib tag from the bottom of the runners bib.

Corral Marshal

Key responsibilities will include marshalling the marathon and half marathon runners by dividing each start corral in groups while standing in between the marked areas in front of the participants, and making sure the participants are staying behind the rope.

Set-Up Crew

You will assist the event organizers under the leadership of your Captain in setting up various stations and equipment at the Start. Some of the places will include preparing and setting up the fence, tables, barriers and tents. Some areas will require lifting of equipment and materials, please make sure you are physically fit to lift some of the materials before registering and volunteering as set-up crew.

Information Ambassador

Main role is to provide support to participants, their friends and families and even to other volunteers on Race Day.  This may include anything from answering questions to providing directions to helping lost and found children.

The Race Day schedule is hectic and busy. Four races will run concurrently – the Marathon, Half Marathon, 8KM and Relay.  Information Ambassadors will be present at the Start and Finish areas in order to answer questions from the public and generally guide participants and spectators as required.

Water Station

Water stations are located strategically in regular intervals on both the Full and Half marathon courses. The main volunteer role at water stations is to provide water, gel and sports drinks, if applicable, to participants as they run through the course. It is the responsibility of volunteers to also guide the runners’ as they come through the water station in order to ensure a seamless movement of all participants.

Captains for water stations are responsible for inventory check, set up, tear down and be on time to meet the operations truck before & after the event.

Prestige Club and Legacy Runner Host

Your role will be to assist with the set up of the Prestige Club and Legacy Runner Hospitality Tent, welcome runners as they arrive, assist the runners with the refreshments, gear check and directions and facilitate the tear down.

Course

Captain

This is a leader of a team of volunteers. As a captain you will be taking on a leadership role and required to oversee several key responsibilities as you will be a leader of a group. Captains are responsible for recruiting other volunteers, identifying assistant captain within their teams who can help them in managing the group. In addition to attending all mandatory training sessions, learn the course route and be familiar with the proper coordination and management of their specific stations and zones as assigned. Captains pick up supplies and equipment necessary for their teams to do their job and also make sure that the team of volunteers they are in charge of are well looked after and provided with snacks and refreshments during the event.

Relay Exchange Station

Most of our participants are not familiar with all of the Relay Stations and streets in Vancouver our course travels on. For this reason, it is important to have relay volunteers direct the runners. Volunteers at Relay Stations are also our primary cheerleaders and motivators.

Your role is to assist with set up of the Relay Station equipment and supplies, assisting and directing runners as they exchange the bib with their teammates and dismantling the station once the event is finished.

Marshal

Most of our participants are not familiar with all of the streets in Vancouver our course travels on. For this reason, it is important to have volunteers direct the runners. Course Marshals provide directions to participants and are also our primary cheerleaders and motivators. Many participants have finished or have run faster purely from the encouragement given by an enthusiastic marshal on the course.

Water Station

Water Stations are located at regular intervals along the courses. Your role is to set up the water station as per your Captain’s instructions, prepare water, gels energy drinks before the runners arrive, hand out water, gels or energy drinks to participants and clean up the station before leaving. It is the responsibility of volunteers to guide the runners’ as they come through the water station in order to ensure a seamless movement of all participants.

Medical Station

There are several medical stations on course located near water stations. Additionally there is a Medical Headquarter located at the finish line. Each course medical station is numbered and supplies housed in a  portable storage unit. Each medical station is completely self-contained & managed by qualified medical volunteers.

Entertainment Station

There will be bands and music groups on course at entertainment stations. All of the on course entertainment will be there for runners and spectators to enjoy free of charge! Each entertainment station is completely self-managed by bands and music groups.

Cyclist

Cyclists are essentially the “eyes and ears” of the race and an incredible resource to runners, volunteers, officials and spectators. They act as guides for the participants, alert start and finish officials on race progress, assist course marshal volunteers and water stations on course during the race. Cyclists also monitor course conditions including making sure the integrity of the course signage and security is maintained throughout the marathon event. Please Note that as a Cyclist for the event, you must provide and use your own bicycle as the Society does not provide one.

Driver

There are several options for drivers to choose from to assist the operations team in delivering and moving supplies. Based on your drivers qualification and skills you may be assigned to drive a car, van, suv, pick-up truck, 1 ton, 3 ton or 5 ton truck as required. Other duties and responsibilities may include providing updates to course operations, ensure integrity of the course for runners, officials and volunteers.

Finish

17,000 participants will move across the finish line on race day into an enclosed runners compound area. During two peak periods in the morning roughly 200 people a minute will be crossing the finish line. It is essential that these people are making a timely and safe progression through the finish line and festival. Be respectful, be noticed, be visible, be encouraging and & FUN!

It is important to have volunteers direct the runners, especially if they appear to be confused. Other roles include being our primary cheerleaders and motivators. Many participants have had a good day purely from the encouragement given by enthusiastic volunteers at the Finish. Provide simple instructions stated firmly and loudly to instruct runners “GREAT JOB runners! This way!” while indicating with exaggerated arm movement the direction they must take. Marshals must not be shy.

Gear Pickup

Volunteers at the Gear Pickup will assist in organizing the gear check bags according to bib number as per your Captain’s instructions. This must be done before runners begin to arrive at the Finish Line. Once runners begin to arrive, your role will be to collect runners’ bags by matching the number attached to the bag to the number of their bib. All runners must collect their own gear check bags.

Runners should be encouraged to use the Green Chair recycling stations to discard any unwanted items.

Information Ambassador

Main role is to provide support to participants, their friends and families and even to other volunteers on Race Day. This may include anything from answering questions to providing directions to helping lost and found children.

The Race Day schedule is hectic and busy. Four races will run concurrently – the Marathon, Half Marathon, 8KM and Relay. Information Ambassadors will be present at the Start and Finish areas in order to answer questions from the public and generally guide participants and spectators as required.

Set-Up Crew

You will assist the event organizers under the leadership of your Finish  Zone Leader and Captain in setting up various stations and equipment. Some of the set-up areas will include Finish Line, Signage, Medals, Gear Pick-up, Festival, Food and Water. Some areas will require lifting of equipment and materials such as tables and chairs, please make sure you are physically fit to lift some of the materials before registering and volunteering as set-up crew. We highly encourage and recommend groups and teams to assist the society as set-up volunteers since we need the biggest help with setting up the Finish Area on Saturday.

Medals

Your role will include assisting with setting up medals at the finish line, handing out medals to participants when they cross the finish line and direct runners towards the food and medical service as needed.
There are four events during race day – the Marathon, Half Marathon, 8KM and Relay. Each participants bib will have a colour that corresponds to the ribbon on the medal. This will assist you in giving the participants the right medal.

Captain

This is a leader of a team of volunteers. As a captain you will be taking on a leadership role and required to oversee several key responsibilities as you will be a leader of a group. Captains are responsible for recruiting other volunteers, identifying assistant captain within their teams who can help them in managing the group. In addition to attending all mandatory training sessions, learn the course route and be familiar with the proper coordination and management of their specific stations and zones as assigned. Captains pick up supplies and equipment necessary for their teams to do their job and also make sure that the team of volunteers they are in charge of are well looked after and provided with snacks and refreshments during the event.

Clean-Up Crew

The primary responsibility of the clean up team is to make sure that the runners’ compound and Street Festival Finish Line are cleaned up after the event, depending on your assigned shirt during race day. Each volunteer will be provided with the tools to complete your duties and instructions from your Captain.

Bottled Water Handout

The primary responsibility is to make sure that all runners crossing the finish line are given bottles water to hydrate and quench their thirst after finishing the race.

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