By Aidan, Summer, and DJ Quinn
Who are the unsung heroes of the XTERRA Trail Run Series? The volunteers are! Volunteers are invaluable, and give runners the encouragement they need to make it to the finish line, giving them emotional and physical support. Whether they're giving you the fuel you need, cheering you on the entire way, or helping you push through that last mile, volunteers are there with every step. They make every XTERRA race happen, and keep them going strong.
Volunteers' work often starts before race day, when they diligently mark the race courses, stuff race packets or even check the timing chips. Volunteers arrive early on the day of the race. Once there, they set up the race venue and registration to help arriving racers, while other volunteers head out to setup aid stations. Volunteers at the aid stations give much-needed fuel, support, and encouragement to tired racers, giving them the strength they need to finish the race. Volunteers put a lot of effort into cheering racers on, and when racers cross the finish line, they are there to give out well-deserved awards and nourishment. After all the runners have gotten their awards and gone home, volunteers are still hard at work cleaning up the race venue.
It would be near impossible for XTERRA to exist without its volunteers. From setting up early in the morning, to cleaning up after the race, the volunteers do it all. XTERRA appreciates their volunteers, and provides them with as much support as possible since they are truly the unsung heroes of XTERRA.
A great example of a hardworking and passionate XTERRA volunteer is our brother Devin. Most days Devin loves to sleep in as long as possible. Race days are completely different with him shooting out of bed before anyone else and always leading the charge out the door. As experienced XTERRA racer and volunteer (and our father) Don Quinn puts it, “It's true, he likes to sleep. Sometimes it feels like we're living with a grizzly bear: sleep, eat, sleep, eat. But on race morning he's a completely different person. He rockets out of bed and is ready to roll before the rest of us are done shaking off the cobwebs.”
When we get to the race venue, Devin is eager and ready to get to work, no matter the hour of the morning. Once the race director assigns jobs, Devin sets to work with gusto, doing whatever is asked of him and often leading the assigned group. Sometimes Devin volunteers for ten or more hours in a row, out in the blazing sun, but he never quits or complains; he is always energetic and hardworking, whether he's sweeping a course in 90 degree temperatures, or encouraging racers as they near the finish line, he gives it 100%. Devin is always looking for ways to improve upon existing methods, and his quick thinking combined with his strong work ethic makes him an ideal volunteer. As XTERRA racer and volunteer (and our mother) Mollie Quinn says of son Devin, “We are so proud of how hard he works, and all the support and encouragement he provides for the racers.”
Devin is a great volunteer, but he is just one example of the many hardworking people across the country who wake up at 3 A.M and volunteer for hours just for the joy of helping others.
XTERRA needs volunteers from all walks of life, all ages and all levels of experience to come and be a part of the team. If you have a few hours to spare for an upcoming XTERRA event, please email trailrun [at] xterraplanet.com with the race you are interested in helping and we will get you connected.
Devin, and all the other XTERRA volunteers are what make XTERRA great. So today we salute Devin and all the other volunteers that make it possible to run the races we love. Thank you!