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2023 Extra Miler Volunteer Recognition Awards

2023 is drawing to a close and it’s time for our annual Extra Miler Volunteer Recognition Awards. After each event we invite you, the Extra Milers, to nominate a fellow volunteer. Perhaps you were a new volunteer at an event and someone was super welcoming and friendly or maybe you are a regular volunteer and have noticed someone who always goes above and beyond.  

In 2023 R4W delivered 7 volunteer-supported events, with over 1,300 volunteers giving up their time, which adds up to an incredible 6,000 volunteering hours. 

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 and making the day extra special for the runners. Our Recognition Awards reflect the dedication and energy of all Extra Milers and it is always so difficult to choose just a few volunteers to receive an Award! Winners receive a special social media post, telling us why they volunteer, and a £30 gift voucher of their choice.  

Diolch yn fawr o galon to each and every Extra Miler! 

As event volunteers, the Extra Milers play a vital role in supporting and keeping safe the runners, spectators and general public. Pacers, back markers and course marshals look after the runners on the course, while the water station teams hand out thousands of bottles of water and cheer on the competitors. Finish line volunteers congratulate every finisher, handing out well-deserved medals and t-shirts and the banter and welcoming faces of the bag drop team are often mentioned in runners comments post-race.  

98% of volunteers who attended a 2023 R4W event said that they would volunteer with us again. 

There are lots of reasons why the Extra Milers give up their time to support others, from wanting to be part of the event and to give something back, to meeting new people and having a new experience. Some are runners themselves, while others have never run! Whatever their motivation, Run 4 Wales is 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 2023 

Follow our Twitter and Facebook pages this December to find out more about the nominees and share your congratulations.  

Llongyfarchiadau! Congratulations to… 

Ethan, a member of the Bridgend Explorers, a group who volunteer regularly at our events.  Ethan has a rare disease called mucopolysaccharidoses type 1 Hurler Syndrome but he doesn’t let that stop him from getting involved! 

“Ethan embraces everything. He spent the whole time handing out water and shouting encouragement to the runners. He was inspiring!” 

Ethan says “helping out makes me happy and I just want to put a smile on the racers faces“.  

Carolyn, a regular back marker at our 10K events, is a keen runner herself who loves motivating and supporting the competitors at the back of the race.  

“I’m nominating Carolyn for being friendly and welcoming but also super-efficient as Back Marker and ensuring everyone meets their cut off times” 

Carolyn says “I love seeing the final finishers cross the line and have a medal they have well and truly earned put around their necks isn’t something I will ever tire of”. 

Lorna, a new volunteer to Run 4 Wales in 2023, is nominated for being supportive to other volunteers and runners alike.  

“Lorna is so welcoming to everyone. She supports both the volunteers and the runners and is always smiling, relaxed and happy. I really enjoyed volunteering alongside her” 

She says event days are “ ‘me time’ where I have met some great people, organisers, volunteers and runners, where I can not only support the running community but have a fantastic day out!” 

The 1148 (Penarth) Air Cadets are regular Cardiff Half Marathon volunteers, usually found supporting volunteers near Penarth Marina.  27 groups supported Run 4 Wales in 2023, with 17 of them young person groups.   

“The Air Cadets were a great group of volunteers – friendly, very enthusiastic and really helpful. Cheering on the runners and using the equipment provided to them, they definitely got into the spirit of things” 

Group Leader Laura said “thank you so much for this award, we really enjoy volunteering every year and working alongside some fabulous team leaders”. 

Derek has been a volunteer with Run 4 Wales for over ten years and is a former athlete himself, previously representing Wales at middle distance and marathon running.  

“I enjoyed volunteering with all the Extra Milers however Derek stood out for me. He’s 73 and inspires many others as he comes to help and does it with enthusiasm! Goes to show age is just a number. Nice one Derek!” 

Derek says “at 73 years old and no longer able to compete, I now enjoy supporting other athletes and giving back to a sport I have always loved. I get a great deal of satisfaction joining with other friendly volunteers and chatting with supporters”. 

Chris is one the Run 4 Wales pacers, usually to be found at the 60 minute pace for a 10K and 2 hours for a half marathon. We haven’t persuaded him to do the Newport Marathon yet!  

“Chris made me feel so relaxed and welcomed me into the Extra Milers. He had such a positive attitude throughout the day and made my first event very special. Literally going the extra mile!” 

Chris loves everything to do with running and is a great help on event days helping to organise the pacer team and ensure everyone has their kit. He is also a Guide Runner for the visually impaired and says “volunteering as a guide has been hugely rewarding and I would recommend it to everyone”.  

Andrew is one of the many former runners in the Extra Milers who now choose to volunteer instead. He has run 10Ks and the Cardiff Half Marathon, usually for charity, and so wanted to give something back by volunteering. 

“Andrew is fun, positive and helpful to fellow volunteers as well as so supportive to the runners. He is always happy to dig-in with whatever is required” 

He is usually volunteers at the finish line, ready to congratulate runners and hand them a bottle of water. “I really enjoy handing over a bottle of water to an exhausted runner saying “Gin & Tonic?” and watching their face as a big beaming smile appears, it is a fantastic feeling….!!” 

Anna-Jane is a regular Run 4 Wales supervisor at the Roath Lake water station at the Cardiff Half. She is also a Run Leader for local running group She Runs: Cardiff, who she ensures come along as volunteers if they aren’t running (or pacing) the event themselves.  

“A great supervisor at Water Station 4 at the Cardiff Half Marathon. Friendly, welcoming and completely capable! You always feel safe when AJ is about!” 

She says “’I’ve always enjoyed being a volunteer at the Cardiff Half and now doing it with a fantastic team of She Runs: Cardiff ladies is even better. It’s great to play a small part in this iconic event”.  

Lois has a passion for volunteering which she fits around her full-time job. She has volunteered at a range of different events locally, nationally and even internationally which included this year the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf.  

“Lois is great fun to volunteer with. She is always super happy and positive and has loads of experience at different running events.” 

Now living outside Wales, she is still a regular R4W volunteer saying “It is always special to come back and spend time in Wales, with the  Extra Milers and my Welsh volunteer family! I meet some wonderful people, have fun and find it thoroughly rewarding and would encourage anyone to become a volunteer.”  

Check out the Extra Miler Twitter or Facebook pages to find out more about the nominees and to congratulate them. 

Want to see who won an award in 2022? Read last years feature here: 2022 Volunteer Recognition Awards! – Run 4 Wales (R4W) 

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