The Canal Run is a community favorite, but it literally wouldn’t exist with the 100 or so people each year who step up and say, “I’m going to do something a little bit more for my community.” These are the volunteers who make this thing a go. Some are up at 4 a.m. setting up cones. Some give up their Friday night to make sure logistics with registration are taken care of. Some wait with smiles at the finish line to bestow half marathon finisher medals upon sweaty strangers.
It’s truly amazing when you think about, and we’re so thankful for them. This year, we hope you’ll join us as a participant, but if you don’t want to walk or run, we hope you’ll do the next best thing: come out and help us out.
Why? We were hoping you’d ask. Here’s five great reasons:
1 – You get a famous Canal Run t-shirt! All volunteers get a free volunteer t-shirt for coming out and helping. These shirts are top notch, look great and you’ll love to wear it for years to come.
2 – Giving back feels great! Over the 43 years the Canal Run has been a part of our community, we’ve never heard a volunteer leave the race thinking “well that was a waste.” Instead, most people are happy they were part of something so amazing. You can feel that way too. When you finish your 1-3 hour shift, you’ll look back at the memories made with fondness for years to come.
3 – It’s great networking. Meeting new people is intimidating. It can be hard. The structure of an event and the high spirts of giving back is the perfect mix to meet people who could be your new best friends, who could lead you to your next big opportunity or just people you’ll share laughs with on a beautiful Saturday in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
4 – We need you. For the professional race services we offer, you will not find a better price for a running event. We can only make that happen because we have so many incredible volunteers who come out and make it happen.
5 – Community. Community. Community. When you live in a small community like ours, it takes all of us to make life happen. Sometimes that’s little things like cleaning up a mess we find in a public area. Sometimes it’s amazing things like helping your neighbors dig out after a 100-year flood comes through. Sometimes it’s simply joyous events where we practice wellness and celebrate the life we’ve all been given by getting up on a Saturday morning and pushing ourselves to complete a memorable feat. There’s no doubt when you finish your volunteer shift, you’ll feel a bit more attached to the community we’re all lucky enough to be living in.