Thursday, June 4, 2009

I have decided that I would like to do another 100 miler. The problem is that a lot of the 100 mile races require that each entrant do volunteering at a race or races (some require a certain amount of hours and some require it to be certain races or ultras, or to do trail maintenance) that will pass whatever requirements each race calls for. I volunteer at races on my own. I do not require anyone to make me do it. But I do not take take kindly to a race director or committee to whom I am paying a goodly amount of money for the privilege of running in his/their race requiring me to also do as they say in regards to volunteering. I enjoy volunteering at races; I know a lot of the local runners and race directors in my area. Since there is only one ultra in this area (50K in Branford, which is still a half hour trek), the requirement to volunteer in an ultra means that I would have to travel to complete that. To get in say Vermont 100 I would have to do the following: 1) get permission from my wife; 2) pay my $200.00 (!) entrance fee; 3) find out what volunteer work will be okayed by the race director; 4) travel to said volunteer work (and have it recorded?); 5) travel to Brownsville, VT to participate in the race. This does not include the training time (truth be told, I do this anyway) which can and should be extensive. It also does not include the cost of staying somewhere Friday evening and possibly Sunday (it depends on how fit you are to travel).
If you look up volunteer in the dictionary this is the definition:
a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.
a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.

It does not say anything about being made to do something. When you do that, you are no longer a volunteer, but akin to a conscripted person. It no longer rings true that you are doing volunteer work.

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