It takes a special type of person to put other runners before your own running ambitions and that is just what our racemakers do every year! They go above and beyond to ensure our runners’ safety and race day experience is the best it can be. They give countless hours of their time from attending training sessions, sector briefings and each event day, which includes getting up at the crack of dawn, whatever the weather!
That’s why we wanted to share Stacey Farnell’s story – a volunteer who has been an essential part of our crew since the inaugural Swansea Half Marathon.
Q&A’s with our Race Maker Stacey
Q. What motivated you to volunteer for us at the inaugural Swansea Half Marathon and subsequent events?
A. As a local runner keen to give back to the running community, crewing events that Frontrunner offers have also given me an immense amount of satisfaction – seeing Swansea Half Marathon delivered after so much hard work made me feel proud to be involved.
Q. Can you share a memorable moment or story that stands out from your time volunteering at Swansea?
A. Each year offers something a little different, but the one that stands out for me is the very first event I volunteered at with my son, who was “Daddy’s Little Helper for the day!” At subsequent events, I can honestly say that I have always enjoyed working the finish line – there’s nothing better than seeing the pure joy on the faces of runners as they cross the line! 😊
Q. As a keen runner yourself, what do you find most rewarding about assisting with our events, and how do you think it benefits the participants?
A. I think that having a running background enables me to see runners who might be in distress or discomfort. I am able to talk and empathise with them before seeing them on their way – having worked on several different Front Runner Events I have always enjoyed encouraging runners and having some friendly interaction with them as they make their way around the course.
Q. Are there any specific skills or qualities you believe are essential for a volunteer at running events?
A. Bags of enthusiasm and the ability to think on your feet – whilst you have a Sector Head assigned to your area, they are not always directly with you so a cool head and an ability to control a situation until support arrives can make a real difference!
Q. What would you like to see at our 10th Anniversary Event?
A. Perhaps a fancy dress theme so people enjoy the run more than chasing a PB – although I am sure there will still be some quick times!