Certainly one of the biggest beneficiaries of my spare time this year has been the San Diego Track Club, particularly since I lost my job this summer. Not only have I served on a couple of committees, done one-off assignments and helped out at every race I'm in town for, but I unexpectedly went from being a training program e-newsletter editor for three months to an interim administrative director for six months. That's a huge shift in responsibilities.
On Saturday night the track club held its annual banquet and I was among the "Super Volunteers" to receive recognition and a really nice embroidered, fleece jacket. A lot of wonderful people received special honors, including Mike, our volunteer coordinator, who was named Volunteer of the Year, and Marison, our own program's volunteer coordinator, who received the coveted Spirit Award. I liked something Mike said that evening that explains why a lot of running programs have a chronic shortage of volunteers. Mike mentioned that when you volunteer, you are putting someone else's running goals ahead of your own. It's true, and it's a big reason most avid volunteers are older and have been running for awhile. They are ready to give back, sometimes in a big way.
My husband and I had the pleasure of sitting next to Irene and Michael at the dinner, and she's written a great post on the event's venue, guest speaker and honorees, so I'm just going to steer you to her blog for more details. Because, being the good volunteer that I am, it's not all about me.