Meet the ‘village’ of volunteers who helped make the return of the LA Marathon possible (and picked up the trash) – Daily News
The rush of race day culminates as thousands of Los Angeles Marathon runners take position at the start line with thunderous roars of support from loved ones echoing in the background. In a flash, the athletes set off on an adventure to Century Park, but they leave behind a trail of trash that needs to be cleaned up.
Fortunately, the race organizers have the unsung heroes of the day: hundreds of volunteers.
Dressing in blue shirts to match the personal protective equipment they wore this year, Los Angeles Marathon volunteers were seen on the track from dawn to dusk dealing with fan experience responsibilities and runners. Coronavirus concerns resulted in a reduced number of runners in this year’s marathon, but that made it difficult for those who arrived at Dodger Stadium at 3 a.m. on Sunday, November 7 to prepare for the big day .
Some volunteers held water stations and cheered loudly alongside race spectators who gathered throughout the 26 mile stretch to cheer on the athletes who had traveled from across the country to be part of the return from the marathon. in Los Angeles. Back on the start line, students like Woodrow Wilson High School – Los Angeles juniors Arizbel Gomez and Chelsea Canales helped the athletes find their way to their proper corrals.
Gomez and Canales said in a joint interview that they agreed to help after volunteering at a recent pumpkin race.
“Honestly, it felt like a fun experience – waking up and then coming with your friends. And I’ve run the marathon before, so it was pretty cool to see this one happen this year, ”said Gomez, laughing at his nervousness to be a few feet away from the elite athletes.
“I agree with her,” Canales said. “I just like to volunteer in general,” so venturing out for a few hours to pick up the inexpensive clothes the athletes had tossed on their track until the finish was no problem on Sunday.
Race officials explained that it’s common for marathon runners to buy jackets at thrift stores before a race so they can stay warm at the start. Then they sprint out and leave enough clothing behind to fill a semi-trailer or two.
Thankfully, Gomes and Canales weren’t the only Southern California teens tasked with tidying up the mess left on the circuit by participants. In fact, 30 members of the Monroe Police Academy also appeared in the dark of night Sunday to lend a hand.
Arizbel Gomez and Chelsea Canales, two juniors from Woodrow Wilson in Los Angeles, collect some of the garbage and clothing left by the runners.
– Brennon Dixson (@TheBrennonD) November 7, 2021
The group admitted in an interview that they were exhausted after a few hours of work, but they didn’t let lack of sleep diminish their spirit of service.
“We came here to help everyone and to thank our community,…” said Daizy Tercero, a teenager from Monroe Police Academy in Monroe High School.
Tercero’s peers agreed. As was the group’s instructor, LAPD officer Joel Frias, who realized during the on-track interview that he could sometimes take the group’s work ethic for granted.
“It’s great to have all these kids coming out today at three in the morning,” Frias said, joking that some were late, but he always appreciates the effort. “I guess I take it for granted because I see them all the time. And they always help, do their best, and are still part of the community.
Caneles and Gomez are not part of the academy, but they said there was no need to thank them for their service. Instead, they were grateful that others decided to join them.
“It takes a village,” Gomez said. “And I think everyone here realizes that and wants to make the day the best it can be.”
“It was a good day,” Frias added before his group of cadets rushed to volunteer at a local ranch.