Appleton, WI (WFRV) In just a few short days, 7,500 runners and walkers will take to the streets for the annual Community First Fox Cities Marathon. The marathon is entering its 22nd year and is just one race in a series of many being held this weekend. It's not easy work, putting on a showcase running event year after year. Luckily for the organizers of the Fox Cities Marathon, volunteers are never in short supply.
At the Fox Cities Marathon, runners rule the roads come race day - but volunteers handle every detail in between.
"They are out at intersections, packet pickup and at the food tent," said Debbie Jansen, event manager for the Fox Cities Marathon. "They are everywhere. So really they are the key and the heart of this event."
Today Jansen was working with a group of dedicated volunteers assembling race day packets for distribution - just a few of the hundreds of volunteers expected to work this marathon weekend.
"We have volunteers that are back each year, have volunteered all the years of the event, or groups from schools and businesses that volunteer. We also have many new groups."
A race of this size could always use more helping hands. The volunteer page on the marathon's website lists roughly 300 positions that still need to be filled.
"We have about 2,300 on race weekend - which includes water stations and every aspect of this event."
Jansen isn't worried about filling the open slots. Each year the community responds. After nine years, she still gets excited, watching runners as they rule the road, surrounded by her own dream team.
"To see the number of volunteers out there is exciting because we can't do it without them. Plus just knowing how much it means to the participants, that all this has come together to help make a dream come true or help them achieve a goal."
If you want to volunteer, just visit the Fox Cities Marathon's website at foxcitiesmarathon.org and click on the volunteers page.