April 18, 2014
by shalama jackson

5 Reasons to Volunteer for a Race

race volunteerI had a blast working the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon and 1/2 Marathon expo. It was great to bring a year’s worth of work together and meet so many people. Some of which I had been talking to through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And others it was the first time we had interacted.

During the RnR Raleigh expo, I worked in our big booth to assist runners in registering for RnR Raleigh 2015 as well as other races in the series and give them a promotional shirt for that event. There were many people that registered for RnR Raleigh 2015, but also Savannah, Vegas, San Diego, Chicago, and Virginia Beach later this year.

In addition to being an ambassador for the race, I agreed to work at the expo. After volunteering at the Run Hard Columbia Marathon last month, I knew it was necessary because I know the importance of volunteers. They are essential to the success of many races. Regardless if it’s a local 5K with small crowds or a destination race with thousands of runners, races need assistance.

Why should you volunteer?

1. To serve. Races of all sizes need help with registration, packet distribution, set up, clean up, parking organization and more. What’s great about that is anyone can volunteer for these positions. However, they also require professionals to provide medical support, emergency support, and photography.

2. For motivation. As a runner, you are immersed on your immediate surroundings and getting from the start to the finish. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to cheer on participants, hand them that needed nutrition along the course or see other things that you would otherwise have missed.

3. To learn. Serving as a volunteer gives you a hands-on experience behind the scene of a race so you can gain tips that might help you in future. It’s one thing to come to a race as a participant. But it’s totally different when you volunteer or work on the operations side.

4. To network. It’s an opportunity to meet and see other runners as well as race officials. The running community is large and small at the same time. Depending on the type and location of the race, you are bound to meet and interact with the same people.

5. For freebies. Many races give their volunteer race team shirts, feed them and share other goodies.

Have you ever volunteered for a race? What did you learn?

April 17, 2014
by shalama jackson

Spartan in Training?

I’ve sort of put down my long distance running shoes for a few months as I prep for a whole new challenge. It’s a challenge that requires me to really transform my body and will push me to see how strong I really am. To get there, I plan on doing a variety of things to keep my workouts interesting including a Spartan Race Workout. Yes, Spartan Race as in you need to know how to churn out burpees.

The Spartan 300 Workout Tour will be in town in early May and I plan on being in attendance. The two hour workout is not for wimps. From what I have seeen, there are a lot of things including burpees, push-ups, low bear crawls, crab crawls and more.

Take a look at compilation of a workout.

I have a few weeks to improve my burpee moves. Ha! I’d like to be able to do 30 without feeling lightheaded. I know it’s from holding my breath while I do it, but that seems to be the only way I can go up and down without falling out.

Could it lead me to register for the upcoming Carolinas Spartan Beast on October 25, 2014? I’m not so sure about it, but it is right here. A few years ago I did an obstacle course race with some coworkers. At that time I said never again. However, I am looking for new challenges and this might just be one of those to add to the list of things to accomplish in 2014.

If you are interested in the Carolinas Spartan Beast or any other Reebok Spartan Race you can get %10 off using the code “FINISH10″ or $10 off using “SPEAR10″. See which one is a better deal.

Are you a Spartan Race finisher?

April 16, 2014
by shalama jackson

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh in photos

me and Eboni at RnR RaleighI had a great experience in Raleigh this past weekend for Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh. It was a double duty shift. I worked the expo on Friday and Saturday and then ran the half marathon on Sunday with my crazy BGR! sister and friend, Eboni. Oh, and about 12,000 other people too.

RnR Raleigh startThe morning started out a little chilly but that didn’t last very long. By the time that we got to mile 2, my hands and arms that were chilly at the start had warmed right on up.

I spent most of the weekend working at the expo in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon booth registering runners for upcoming races. Since I was going to be there, I asked people I had been talking to through Twitter and Instagram to visit me. I knew it would be one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Here are a few:

cherilianne RnR RaleighThere’s Cherie of Cheri Runs This. I’ve been following her story and blog for some time. It was a pleasure to meet her face to face.

paul RnR RaleighPaul is a local guy that was registered to run the full marathon. We spoke often so I had to meet him.

Raleigh with Brooks and Fleet FeetAnd my friends April and Ed from Fleet Feet Columbia with Addison, our Brooks rep. He was super helpful this fall when I was out promoting the race.

bgr RNR RaleighOn race morning, it was good to get up with some ladies I hadn’t seen in more than a year along with a couple of others that I had talked to online but never met face to face. We represent Black Girls RUN! Columbia, Charlotte, and Charleston here.

One of the most amazing things I came to understand this past weekend is that the running community is a large small group. We are large in numbers around the world, but yet are friendly and welcoming like a small close-knit group.

 What are your favorite parts of a race weekend?