Whether at the reception, on the track open 24 hours a day, or in the kitchens, forty volunteers are making it possible for this charity race to run, through the 20th of November.
They must travel 384,400 kilometres, the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Participants in the “No Finish Line” race started running, or walking, on Saturday 12th of November. And they have been going round Fontvieille, to raise funds for projects benefitting underprivileged or ill children – the association “Children & Future” donates one euro per kilometre. This year, the organisers expect 14,000 participants, a huge number of people to welcome. So in order to accommodate all these participants and allow them to cover the kilometres, the organisation must rely on volunteers. There are forty in all, spread over several posts.
Let’s focus on these volunteers who, through their efforts, enable the race to continue and help “Children & Future” to raise funds. They are distributed mainly in three stations: the reception, track, and kitchens.
The reception volunteers are at the heart of the race’s organisation. It is thanks to a chip, fixed on participants’ shoes, which allows the kilometres to be counted, and therefore euros spent. Participants in the race receive this chip at the registration office, where the volunteers never really stop: the track is open twenty-four hours a day, as is the registration.
T-shirts must be folded, for example, and mugs or stuffed animals prepared, as the gifts to be given in exchange for the chip deposit, which is also part of the funds donated. “We do not sleep, that’s for sure,” says Christine smiling, a volunteer for the past two years.
Régis defines his role as a volunteer with the “No Finish Line” race as “taking care of the track.” He is responsible for the assembly, maintenance and dismantling of the track. He keeps a close eye on barriers and rubbish bins, and ensures that walkers and runners each remain within the appropriate lines. In short, looking after all “the little things necessary for the race to go well,” says Régis, who has been volunteering here for five years.
Out of sight of the runners and walkers, Muriel opens a tin of red beans. She prepares lunch, which will be chili, for fifty people. In general, on the weekend there are fifty people for lunch, twenty for dinner. That number is halved during the week. From Saturday to the following Sunday, it would be Muriel who takes care of the meals for the volunteers.
The menus follow three principles: they must be “simple to cook”, “practical”, and “tasty.” In addition to chili, she had planned, over the coming few days, to make curry, crepes or sausages. And these meals serve a further purpose: there is also the “friendly side, people can reconnect with each other,” says Muriel, who has been involved here for four years. A little further on, other volunteers help to refuel the participants. And they distribute large quantities of food: 1,800 kilograms of bananas, the same amount of oranges, 13,000 cereal bars, 500 packets of gingerbread and 500 biscuits packets throughout the race. Twenty-four hours after the start, 4,000 people had already come to the track. They had covered over 47,000 kilometres, and there were already over 11,000 people registered. Thanks to the volunteers as well, this race continues to succeed.
First Death at the Race
Late morning on 13th November, “No Finish Line” witnessed its first death in 17 years of the race’s history. The gentleman suffered a heart attack and could not be revived, despite the efforts of the Monaco Fire Department and the Emergency Services (SMUR).
Source for photos: pixabay.com