2022 Volunteer Recognition Awards!
2022 is drawing to a close and it’s time for our Extra Miler Volunteer Recognition Awards. At Run 4 Wales, we value the contribution of each and every volunteer who decides to give up their time and come along to our events. Everyone plays a vital role in keeping our events going.
Diolch yn fawr o galon to each and every Extra Miler!
Our Recognition Awards reflect the dedication and energy of all Extra Milers and it was very difficult to choose just a few volunteers to receive the Award!
We did however want to shout about the amazing contribution that our volunteers make so we asked our 2022 Supervisors, our Cardiff Half volunteers and our R4W office team to tell us if they wanted to nominate an individual volunteer for an award.
In 2022 R4W delivered 7 volunteer-supported events, with over 1,200 volunteers giving up their time, which adds up to an incredible 6,000 volunteering hours.
The Extra Milers fulfil a number of roles from being the driving force of the post-finish area where medals and t-shirts are handed out to runners to setting up and operating the water stations around the course. They look after runner and spectator safety as course marshals and they take care of runners bags in the Bag Drop Tent. At the Cardiff Half Marathon, the biggest event on our running calendar and the second largest half marathon in the UK, volunteers also act as Environmental Champions to maintain our recycling target of over 96% and as Event Gurus to answer questions and direct runners around the event village.
96.6% of volunteers who attended a 2022 R4W event said that they would volunteer with us again.
The Extra Milers tell us that they volunteer mainly to be part of the event and to give something back, as well as to meet new people, because they have run in an event before or to learn new skills and have a new experience. Whatever their motivation, we are extremely grateful to have the enthusiasm and energy of all our Extra Milers on race days and we know the runners appreciate it too!
Extra Miler Recognition Awards 2022
Llongyfarchiadau! Congratulations to…
Jackie Barnhouse, whose favourite volunteering roles are being there at the end of a run giving out the medals, t-shirts, water and acting as course marshal.
“Jackie is a genuinely lovely person who engages and welcomes all volunteers new and old and generally makes everything fun for those around her”.
Jackie says she volunteers for R4W because “I look forward to meeting up with everyone and having a laugh, which we do. I have genuinely made lifelong friends doing this and would recommend volunteering to anyone.”
Dafydd Trystan has done many volunteering roles at R4W events but is more recently to be found on the Finish Line, congratulating runners in both Cymraeg and English. He says “Mae’n dda iawn hefyd cael y cyfle i longyfarch rhedwyr yn Gymraeg – mae na lwyth o siaradwyr Cymraeg yn rhedeg, felly mae’n braf cael gwirfoddolwyr i’w llongyfarch a rhoi medal neu fanana iddynt yn Gymraeg!”
“Dafydd is always great on the Finish Line, happy to help out where needed and be flexible when we need extra support in the different areas”
Dafydd runs R4W races and knows how much work is put in behind the scenes. His favourite event is the Newport Marathon “Oherwydd nad yw e mor brysur â Hanner Caerdydd, ry’ch chi’n cael cyfle i longyfarch rhedwyr yn iawn a chael sgwrs sydyn weithiau am sut aeth y ras”.
Falmai Taylor is nominated for her support on the Cardiff Half on the finish line and also helped at Porthcawl 10K cheering on runners at the water station.
“Fal was super positive and cheerful all day, tirelessly handing out medals and staying until the very last runners came in”
Fal loves handing out the medals and always gets great responses from the runners, especially as the Extra Miler t-shirt matches her mobility scooter! Although Fal has difficulty in walking because of arthritis and uses a mobility scooter to get around, she cannot wait for the next event in 2023. She says volunteering is about “getting out and meeting people because we were stuck in the house for so long during covid”.
The Cardiff and Vale Police Cadets are among over 20 groups who supported R4W events in 2022, offering a fantastic way for young volunteers to begin their volunteering journey. The cadets joined us at all 3 Cardiff-based events, lending their skills to the water station team.
“All the volunteers were fantastic but the Police Cadets were particularly impressive. Seeing the young volunteers go from camera-shy, quiet kids to enthusiastic helpers, shouting out runners names and rubbish collecting without being asked, was so impressive. It was a pleasure volunteering with them”
PCSO Amy Hughes loves bringing the cadets to events, believing that “besides building character and finding out what excites them in life, volunteering also teaches youth important life skills that aren’t always as easy to teach in school”.
Rebecca Jones, initially intended to run the Half but after an injury decided to volunteer instead.
“Rebecca was amazing at the Cardiff Half. She was a great addition to the Tail and Sweep team and was great at keeping Race Event Control updated on the radio”
Although she was a little nervous, being a first-time volunteer, she says her experience with the volunteer team was fabulous. “It was such a fun, inspiring and exciting event to be a part of. I can’t recommend it enough – so get online, sign up and come and join us!”
John Timmons, an ex-runner who has volunteered at over 20 R4W events is nominated for his tireless support, assisting the Finish Line supervisors.
“John also does everything he can to help, taking on extra tasks with set-up and looks out for any problems he can see and will sort them out straight away”
Although John has volunteered at nearly every R4W event over the years, his favourite races are actually the family fun runs and Future Challenger runs for young athletes. He says “I am inspired by all the other volunteers at each event from young to not so young and the effort they put in to make the day fun for those running and watching”.
Zarqa Hussain has been a fixture in the volunteer bag drop team since 2018 and has this year moved into a supervisor role, looking after the Bag Drop team at Porthcawl 10K and Water Station 2 at the Half Marathon.
“Zarqa is amazing at motivating other volunteers in the Bag Drop tent, keeping everybody’s spirits up and generally making volunteering fun! Great to see that she was moved into a Supervisor role at the Half -she is perfect for the job!”
She is a strong believer in the health and wellbeing benefits of volunteering and says “I will always be grateful to volunteering as it’s an amazing feeling when the event draws to a close and you see how well everything has been managed. Well done to R4W for being inclusive and so caring towards their volunteering community”.
Lydia Koumarela was a first-time volunteer at the Cardiff Half weekend who is now inspired to join up to run the 2023 event herself! She made an immediate impression with her enthusiasm and friendliness.
Lydia helped in a number of roles at the event but told us her favourite role was walking the runners down to the start line, twirling a brightly coloured umbrella and later meeting her friend crossing the finish line!
“Lydia volunteered for the first time at the Cardiff Junior races and loved it so much she joined us again on Sunday for the Half Marathon. She was very bubbly and energetic and really supportive of the other volunteers”
She says “Everyone in R4W is supportive, friendly and create a very welcoming atmosphere for the volunteers. The smiles, empowerment and love the volunteers at R4W give out is what makes it a unique experience”.
Jin Tan, a long-time Extra Miler has volunteered at the Cardiff Half and other R4W events for over ten years. She started volunteering when she moved to Cardiff for work and wanted something fun to do outside of work that felt meaningful, was healthy and a way to meet more people.
“We see Jin at every event and she is always very happy and excited to be volunteering again. She is a fantastic ambassador for the Extra Milers!”
Jin enjoys all the different volunteer roles but is often found in the bag drop tent, chatting with runners and wishing them good luck before the race. She says “Each time in an event, I meet friendly R4W staff, familiar and new volunteers. I learn and hear their stories and experiences. It provides a nice feeling of community and connection and it empowers me to stay healthy and positive”.
Matt King has been volunteering since 2018 when his first event was the inaugural Newport Marathon and is still his favourite event. He is nominated for his fantastic support in the bag drop team.
“Matt is a long-time volunteer with R4W and usually supports the Bag Drop team. He is very dependable, stays until the very end and is always helpful when something extra needs doing”
Matt is a cyclist who participates in sportives, so says he understands the vital role of volunteers in sporting events. He likes being able to give something back to local communities and in addition “it is good fun and a bit of a laugh, with a sense of satisfaction out of helping other people have an enjoyable event or day”.
Rhiannon Rees volunteers as she loves being part of the event, meeting lots of different people and experiencing every part of the event. She is a long-time Extra Miler, having volunteered for over eight years at our events.
“Rhiannon is great on the Finish Line, always clapping every runner and calling them by name, keeping going for 3 hours with the same amount of enthusiasm!”
She says she loves “the start line when it’s buzzing with excitement and clapping the finishers back in on the finish line is always an amazing feeling – such a privilege to bring people back in after they have put so much into the race. Water stations are funny (and wet!) and baggage gives the same excitement/exhilaration as start/finish… but under cover”.
Fiona Greaves has volunteered twice at the Cardiff Half and finds it a really enjoyable way to get involved with inspiring and exciting events that doesn’t entail having to run every time! She loves the course marshal role and even brings along her own cowbell to motivate the runners.
“Fiona was amazing with the tired runners as they approached the demanding hill on Fairoak Road at the Cardiff Half, tirelessly encouraging them assisted by the cowbell that she had brought with her. She was as enthusiastic for the first as she was for the last”
She says the Half has an amazing atmosphere on race day. “It’s a real privilege to witness the effort every single person puts into their race and to be able to cheer them on. It makes me feel proud to call Cardiff my hometown and think of the money that is being raised to help others”.
Julie Duncan of Roath Runners is usually to be found at a water station cheering on and motivating runners, as well as helping to support the other volunteers.
“Julie cheerfully took on the role of helping the other volunteers to sign in, sorting t-shirts and other kit and supporting everyone throughout the volunteering experience. She was a great help!”
She says finds volunteering very rewarding and likes to “give to the runners what she would like to receive as a runner” whether that’s a smoothly run water station or lots of cheers and noise as they pass.
Helen Hubback has volunteered at the last two Cardiff Half Marathons as a Course Marshal at Norwegian Church in the Cardiff Bay course sector. She says volunteering is “the next best thing to actually running it! But I think I prefer to volunteer now as it’s so much fun!”
“Helen was great at helping out with the volunteer sign-in and sorting kit out despite pretty horrible weather conditions down at Cardiff Bay. She was then a great course marshal when the runners starting coming through”
Helen feels that volunteering is a great way to give something back and feel part of something. She also notes that mass participation sporting events wouldn’t be able to go ahead without the support of volunteers, so she encourages everybody to give volunteering a go saying “it’s so well organised you don’t feel nervous”!
Huw Viggers is one of the R4W 2022 pacers and says he wishes he had started volunteering earlier. Huw paced several of our events this year and also helped on the finish line at the junior events on the Cardiff Half weekend. He says he started volunteering as he wanted to give something back to running.
“Huw has been a friendly face in the pacer team this year and is very supportive of R4W volunteering. He also helped out at the Cardiff Junior event on the finish line and ran at the back of the Future Challengers to support the young runners”
He loves reaching the finish line and being thanked by grateful runners, knowing he has helped them achieve their targets. He says it “fills me with joy seeing the runners cross the finish line with a new personal best knowing I helped”.
John Wheat of Newport Social Cycling was nominated for his ongoing support of R4W events, being relied upon to organise teams of cyclists to support the event. He helps ensure roles such as Lead Course Cyclists and Cycling Marshals are filled. John and his team have been volunteering for around 6 years at many different R4W events.
“For many years John has recruited, organised and on event day co-ordinated the Newport Social Cycling group to support R4W events. He uses his experience in guiding us on the right cycling team members for the job, whether that be part of the roving Timing Team, leading wheelchairs and runners around the routes as Cycling Escorts or mobile course cycling marshals”
John says the cyclists are a huge asset at events to support the runners and manoeuvre around them quickly to other areas if needed. He thinks the best event is “obviously the Cardiff Half Marathon, riding in front ensuring the course is safe, blowing the whistles along the way so spectators know the runners are just behind us, 25,000 runners behind us!!! No pressure then!”
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