Janelle Hartman of Astoria, Queens, wanted to experience the finish of a half-marathon before running her first 13.1, so she volunteered at the 2012 NYC Half. Soon, she’d find herself a regular fixture at NYRR events.
“Each time I volunteered, I loved my experience, and if I am not running, I still want to be there,” she says. She joined the Volunteer Leader program for the 2013 New York City Marathon, and set a goal to complete a “9+9”—running nine races and volunteering at nine races.
“I know my NYRR family has been there for me when I finish and I want to be there for them,” she says. “I am not a typical morning person, but I will get up at three or four a.m. to volunteer, because I know it is going to be a wonderful time.”
Hartman’s favorite place to volunteer is right where she got her start: at the finish line. “I love greeting the runners, and especially my crowd—the back of the pack—who are finishing after being on their feet for some time, or racing maybe for the first time,” Janelle says.
As for her favorite race, it’s the New York City Marathon, especially when helping the final waves of finishers: “When the sun goes down and when the last group comes in, I am not leaving until I know everyone is assisted. That’s exactly what I would want someone to do for me.”