Lon Wilson Went From Running Marathons to Volunteering At Them
Lon Wilson is a longtime walking coach and former national masters 50K racewalk champion. A veteran of more than 100 marathons, he switched from running to walking in 1979. Since 2005 he has been an active volunteer with NYRR, including serving as the mile co-captain for Mile 20 of the TCS New York City Marathon.
After running NYRR races for many years, Wilson wanted to give back, and being very connected to the sport already—he serves as a coach and certified official—volunteering just made sense. “I have done 113 marathons and there have always been people out there for me,” says Wilson, “This is my chance to give back to the sport.”
Wilson says that he has volunteered with many people over the years, and each year the groups that come out are great. In addition, he also takes his role as a volunteer very seriously. Wilson comments that, “I feel my most important role as the captain of Mile 20 is to keep the course safe for the runners by keeping the it clear of debris and spectators.”
While Wilson has had many great experiences volunteering, he says that his most memorable moment was in 1996 when he was able to escort Hartwig Galuder, an Olympic walker who had just had a heart transplant. “It was very exciting to be responsible for such an important athlete.”
In addition to volunteering, Wilson serves as a coach with the NYRR Senior Striders Program where he helps to coach seniors in the walking program.