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A day in the life of a R4W volunteer

Thinking about volunteering with the Extra Milers in 2024? We know that it can be daunting trying something new, so read on to understand more about what the Extra Milers do on event day and what to expect when volunteering with R4W.  

“The event simply could not happen without volunteers. They made sure we were safe, hydrated and fuelled. Thank you to all the Extra Milers” Cardiff Half 2023 runner 

First things first, you choose what you do on event day! Descriptions of all the volunteering roles are available on our webpage with full details of what’s involved. Our key event day roles are helping on the finish line, supporting a water station, being a course marshal or chatting with the runners in the bag drop tent. The Extra Miler team also includes volunteer photographers, race pacers and back markers (who walk at the back of the race).  

After you register as a R4W volunteer on our Rosterfy volunteer system, you’ll be able to see all our events and the volunteering roles available. Just sign up to the event and role you’d like to do! If you’d like to volunteer as part of a group, email our volunteer team for information about the group sign-up process.  

“The event was such a positive enjoyable experience for me. Volunteers are generously provided for and valued. I felt proud wearing the Extra Milers T-shirt” Barry Island 10K 2023 Extra Miler 

You’ll receive a detailed event information sheet around a week before the event. This is emailed to you (check your junk folders!) and is also available on your Rosterfy volunteer dashboard by clicking on notifications. It contains everything you need to know about race day, including where to park, what time to arrive and who your supervisor will be. We even include a photo of your supervisor so you know who you’re looking for. 

All volunteer teams will have the support of an experienced R4W supervisor who is your go-to person on the day. They’ll sign you in on arrival, answer any questions and carry out a welcome briefing before you begin any tasks. Many of our supervisors started out as an Extra Miler volunteer so they know what it’s like being new to an event. 

“I really enjoy welcoming the volunteers on event day. There’s always new faces among the regulars and it’s great to meet new volunteers and show them what we do to contribute to the race, then see them getting involved and having fun” R4W Superviso20

If you’re volunteering on course (course marshals and water station teams) you’ll likely meet your supervisor at your volunteering location. They’ll have your volunteer kit and lunches. Otherwise you’ll sign in at the Volunteer Welcome Hub, usually a R4W tent near the start-finish area. Your supervisor will meet you, take your name and ask you to pick up an Extra Milers t-shirt to wear, a branded drawstring bag for your belongings and a lunch pack. Help yourself to a hot drink and a Welshcake while you wait for everyone else to arrive!  

Your supervisor will then gather everyone together and walk with you to your volunteering location, for example the finish line. There, they’ll carry out a role briefing explaining the day ahead as well as covering some important health and safety information. Feel free to ask any questions at this point or, of course, at any time during the day.  

“There’s a lovely atmosphere amongst the volunteers and everyone willing to do whatever jobs are needed.” Cardiff Bay 10K 2023 Extra Miler 

Now the fun begins! If you’re in the Bag Drop team runners will be starting to queue to drop off their bags, while the finish line team will start hanging medals and unboxing t-shirts. Out on the course, the water station team will be unloading thousands of bottles of water while the course marshals test out their megaphones.  

“Support throughout was outstanding! So much enthusiasm and encouragement from the Extra Milers for both the 10k and junior races!” Porthcawl 10K 2023 runner 

Many Extra Milers are regular volunteers, so there is always someone experienced who can show you the ropes. Some are aiming for the Extra Miler Extraordinaire Award, where volunteers receive a lovely Cardiff Half gift bundle at the end of the year as a little thank you for supporting every R4W event that year. We also invite you to try the Extra Milers Role Challenge. Come along to four events but do a different role at each event! We’ll give you a lovely Welsh foods goodie bag as a thank you.  

After every event we’ll send you an email inviting you to fill out the volunteer event feedback survey. It’s really important to R4W to hear more about your volunteering experience and what we can do to improve it. There’s also the opportunity to post your event day photos on social media. We choose our favourites and you can win a free R4W race entry or a shopping voucher.  

We hope we’ve given you a little insight into event day volunteering. The 2024 event calendar is now confirmed – view it here.  You can also follow our Facebook page or X (formerly Twitter) channel for all the latest event updates. Volunteer sign-up generally starts 6 weeks before each event.  

If you have any questions about volunteering with R4W or if you are part of a group who would like to volunteer at an event, just send an email to our friendly volunteer team 

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