As hosts to some of the best running events around, it probably comes as no surprise that runDisney events are typically very well staffed. From the very first details surrounding race registration to the sweeping of the course one all the runners are off, a runDisney Cast Member has a hand in the magic.
Yet, even with all the magical Cast Members on hand, a runDisney event could never occur without a few important key players.
That’s right! RunDisney volunteers are some of the driving forces of making runDisney events successful. RunDisney volunteers are with runners from the start of the day to the end of the day. Whether it be ushering you into your start corral (and making sure you aren’t late!) or placing a medal over your head, runDisney events would not be able to function without volunteers.
Thankfully, runDisney volunteers are typically plentiful. As a runner, that is something I am extremely grateful for. Yet, as an individual who enjoys volunteering at running events, I’ve come to realize that volunteering at a runDisney event might be rather tricky. Possibly as tricky as registering for the race! Meaning, you better be on your game when registration opens in order to secure your spot as a runDisney volunteer.
How exactly do you do such a thing? Precisely how do you become a runDisney volunteer? Well, my dear, let’s jump in and find out!
Step 1 for Becoming a RunDisney Volunteer
First step to volunteering for a runDisney event is to head over to either the runDisney website or the Volunteer Ambassador Team website. The later is going to send you on a more direct pathway to volunteering, so be sure to head to this website found right here: Volunteer Ambassador Team. If you, instead, find yourself on the runDisney website, head towards the bottom of the page. There will be a small link labeled ‘Volunteer’.
Pro Tip RunDisney Volunteer Process
To make your life a little easier, and to be able to see more information on one screen, use a desktop or laptop to complete this process. Even a tablet will do the trick, giving you a bigger screen. Having a larger screen is going to allow you to see more runDisney information at once. This is instead of using a smartphone, which limits your ability to view all the information you need at one time.
Step 2 for Becoming a RunDisney Volunteer
Once on the Volunteer Ambassador Team Website, be sure you do a little scanning and select the event for which you would like to be a runDisney volunteer. All the events will be listed. Clicking through to the different events, you will see the start date for runDisney volunteer registration for that particular event.
Be SURE to write down the date that volunteer registration opens. Becoming a runDisney volunteer can be as intense as registering for a popular runDisney event. Spots fill quickly. You don’t want to miss your opportunity!
Step 3 for Becoming a RunDisney Volunteer
On your events registration date, be sure to be ready bright and early! If you are registering more than one person, it is beneficial to have two computers open to the screen at the same time. Having the two computers will allow two (or more!) individuals to register at the same time. If you have a desire to volunteer with any other individuals, this is going to be priceless for you. You’ll be able to determine how many volunteer spots are available for a particular shift you are seeking in order to make sure you can both get a spot.
ProTip: Be sure to agree upon the time of your runDisney volunteer shift before you go to sign up. You don’t want to have anyone get cold feet for the early, early morning shift right before you go to sign up!
Step 4 for Becoming a RunDisney Volunteer
Once you select your event and click on ‘register’, you may be redirected to a separate page. Follow the necessary steps to select the event and shift for which you’d like to volunteer.
RunDisney Volunteer Pro Tip
You might notice that some events are listed as ‘Wait List’. This means that a particular volunteer spot is full, but you can sign up as an alternate. If you are needed you will be contacted via email. So keep an eye out in your inbox! If you really, really want to ensure you have a runDisney volunteer spot, be on the hunt for options that are not listed as ‘Wait List’.
Step 5 of Becoming a RunDisney Volunteer
Once you have signed up and confirmed your spot as a runDisney volunteer, keep your eyes peeled for follow-up information. By checking your email, you’ll be sure to stay up to date in the next step of your runDisney volunteer journey.
RunDisney Volunteer Tips
As a race day volunteer, I wanted to share a few tips that will make your volunteer experience pleasant. Suggestions that are derived from experience from years of volunteering at races.
Wear the Proper Shoes as a RunDisney Volunteer
First, note the length of your shift. Then, plan to spend that entire shift standing on your feet. With this note, be sure to bring along a super comfortable pair of shoes. If you plan to volunteer in shoes that don’t have much support, odds are you’re going to pay for it later. Next, check the weather and if there is any rain, be sure to bring along a second pair of shoes to change into later. Or you can also bring an extra pair of socks to slip into. It’s all about keeping your feet dry and happy!
Take a look at this post for recommendations for shoes to wear at Walt Disney World. All of the same tips apply. While you won’t be walking around as much as you would during a park day, standing in place in taxing on the legs as well. Sometimes even more so! You want shoes that are going to help you make the most of your experience. If you have further questions on the best types of shoes to wear, be sure to leave a comment below.
Wear Comfortable Clothes as a RunDisney Volunteer
In regards to spending time on your feet, and making sure your feet are comfortable, be sure to also make sure the rest of your body is comfortable as well. The climate at Walt Disney World is typically hot. However, on race morning, you could be starting as a volunteer in the early, early, early hours of the morning. With races starting before the crack of dawn, you might find yourself a little chilly! Plus, if you’re ‘lucky’ you could be met with some rain at your the start of the race.
Despite possibly yucky weather, you’re still going to want to volunteer. That’s a given! To combat the yuckiness, just plan to wear lots of layers!
Get a Good Night Sleep Before Your Volunteer Shift
While not as important as sleeping the night before a runDisney race, being well-rested before a runDisney volunteer shift is a good plan. Having a decent amount of sleep under your belt is adding fuel to a successful day.
Bring Snacks to Your RunDisney Volunteer Event
RunDisney will provide race day volunteers with a snack box for their event. However, if you have a particular diet or food allergies, be sure to bring along your own snacks. You could be volunteering for a great length of time and you don’t want to find yourself starving with no food that will work for you in sight. Being starving and in the middle of a runDisney volunteer shift is not the way to a magical day!
Have a Full Belly and Be Super Hydrated Before Your RunDisney Volunteer Shift
Speaking of food, be sure to come into your runDisney event with a full belly and hydrated. Maybe not so hydrated that you find yourself having to run off the course to use the porta-potty every two seconds, but hydrated enough. You’re most likely going to be doing a lot of cheering, talking and congratulating runners throughout the day. All of those actions require a lot of energy! Start the day off with a protein-filled breakfast and you’re going to be good to go!
Hopefully, with a little foresight, you’ll enjoy your volunteer experience and not feel as though you have run a marathon yourself on race morning! That being said, volunteering is super rewarding, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself exhausted afterward. Being supportive takes a lot of hard work! And, from runners everywhere, thank you! Thank you so much for your selfless act of support!! It is so very much appreciated along the racecourse!