For the last two years, I have been a part of the behind the scenes team of volunteers for Fit Right NW’s First Thursday Urban Adventure Run. Until you see it from the perspective of the volunteers you do not realize how crazy and special of a night it truly is.
First Thursday takes place on the first Thursday of every month from March to September. For me the event starts at around 4:15 when I get in to help set up registration and help set up anything that Derk and the crew have not gotten to already. Derek Scott and the crew at Fit Right NW put so much into First Thursday. They are the reason it is the biggest event of it’s type on the west coast. They bring in vendors to talk running, there are so many amazing prizes, they make sure runners and walkers have everything they need to have a fun night out.
At 5 registration opens and the entire hour becomes a tornado of names, raffle tickets, smiles, hugs, questions and doing what we can to make sure the runners have what they need to get started on their crazy adventure. At times registration can turn into total chaos, but its a fun chaos as the runners are pretty patient and friendly no matter how long they have had to wait. Its hard work but its really fun.
At 6:00 PM the map of checkpoints is revealed and the runners have an hour to make as many checkpoints as they can and bring their raffle tickets back for the prize drawing. The checkpoints are shops and parks in the general area that open up their space to the runners. Some are close by, some are for the more adventurous. I always tell people if you can’t figure out how to read the map, find a crowd of people to run with and just keep looking for crowds of runners. Even if you are a walker there are plenty of checkpoints for walkers to make and get chances to win prizes.
After we wrap up registration there is a little piece and quiet where the volunteers get a beer and get a chance to chat with the vendors. I also take the time to arrange the prizes for the raffle.
As people come back it feels like another tornado of questions, names, hugs and just making sure everyone is ready for the raffle.
I play Vanna White during the raffle handing things up to Greg (our MC) and Dave (The founder of Fit Right and in general boss). I also help during the raffle to throw things out into the crowd to people. Its fun to watch people get excited and put so many smiles on faces, especially when it comes to putting on smiles for little kids. The little kids make volunteering so much fun.
Wrap up and clean up goes fast on First Thursday. But we go into this knowing that our goal is to leave it cleaner then we got the area.
Make sure you join us for the last Fit Right First Thursday Urban Adventure Run of the year on September
4th. Registration opens at 5PM at NW 20th and Raleigh. You can pick up the details using this link Fit Right First Thursday Urban Adventure
the post map reveal First Thursday.