Volunteers are a crucial part of each Boston Marathon. Many were the first to respond to the bombings of 2013 and they will once again perform vital functions this year.
Just as many more runners wanted to participate in the first marathon to follow last year’s tragic events, volunteer applications were up this year as well, according to Marc Davis, the communications manager for the Boston Athletic Association and Boston Marathon.
“We consistently have a heightened interest in people wanting to volunteer for the Boston Marathon every year,” Davis told Boston.com. “All of the positions for volunteers are highly regarded as important to the smooth performance of this event.”
Approximately 15,000 volunteers applied to assist with the 2014 Boston Marathon. Organizers were able to accept about 10,000.
“We create the positions based on the demand of the field size and operations of the event, and they are filled,” said Davis. “Others can support the event by coming out to watch and cheer for all of the runners.”
About 36,000 runners, 9,000 more than 2013, are expected to compete on the 26.2-mile course on Monday, April 21.
There are many positions volunteers will cover, including serving the pre-race pasta dinner the night before the race, assisting at the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, helping at course hydration stations along the route, marshaling at the finish line, distributing medals, checking gear on the Boston Common, and managing the waves of runners at the starting line.
And for Davis, experience counts.
“The majority of our volunteers are returning ones,” he said. “Some have volunteered for the last 10 to 15 years straight.”
For more information, visit the Boston Athletic Association’s volunteers page.Follow Robert Burgess on Twitter @bobb2001