Athletes running last weekend’s BMO Vancouver Marathon were well hydrated during the 42 kilometre race thanks in part to a dedicated group of ISSofBC volunteers.
Over 10 ISSofBC Language Instruction for Newcomer (LINC) volunteers and three LINC instructors braved last Sunday morning’s rain to provide water and electrolyte drinks at a water station to the over 16,000 runners participating.
“The BMO Marathon is an important and very exciting Vancouver event. The marathon runs right through our neighbourhoods, so students feel connected to their city and their community by being a part of it,” said ISSofBC LINC Instructor Andrea Szakos.
For many students, this was their first time volunteering in Canada. Andrea said she was looking for a fun opportunity for her students that would allow them to try volunteering without making a long-term commitment.
“Volunteering at the BMO Marathon was an adventure in my life. As a sports lover, running is one of my favourite sports. I realize after being a volunteer how worthwhile it was for me. It was not only educational and entertaining, it was an opportunity to provide an honourable service,” said Maya, a LINC Level 7 student at ISSofBC’s Terminal Avenue location.
This is the second time ISSofBC volunteers have participated at the BMO Marathon. Last year many LINC students went on to volunteer at other well-known Vancouver events such as the Dragon Boat and Granville Island Children festivals.
Volunteers at the BMO Vancouver Marathon received a T-shirt and a $10 White Spot gift card. However, Andrea said more importantly they received an overwhelming appreciation from the thirsty runners during the race.
The BMO Vancouver Marathon was recently named in the Top 10 Destination Marathons by Forbes.com
The route followed many of Vancouver’s beaches, parks and along the Seawall.