A Two-Way Street
Volunteers are an important part of the Achilles community and take on numerous roles, such as:
- Helping disabled runners become familiar and proficient with special equipment
- Participating in weekly or bi-weekly workouts
- Providing guidance and running advice during races and marathon
- Helping out with race-day logistics.
While their general role is to accompany disabled runners during the course of a workout or race, on any given day an Achilles volunteer will function as a member’s eyes, ears, guide, and motivator. But ask any Achilles volunteer why they do it, and you’ll hear the same answer, over and over: they get back as much as they give, and more.
"Walking as a Volunteer with Achilles makes you a better person. The first time I walked with a visually impaired athlete during the Achilles Marathon in Prospect Park, she was able to tell me about the areas we were walking by. The birds and the open fields. I had the vision but missed what she heard by walking with me. I have learned to take better notice of the beauty in everyday life. We learn that you can accomplish whatever you want, there are only abilities no disabilities in life you just have to take advantage of them." - Achilles Volunteer
How to Volunteer
To become an Achilles volunteer you must complete a volunteer application form. Download a pdf of the paper form below and fax or mail it to us.
42 West 38th Street
*NYC VOLUNTEERS! Please click here to find out about all the local Achilles workouts and events!
This form is a General Volunteer Form. It is NOT a valid application for the NYC Marathon. See below to learn about the application process for the NYC Marathon...
GUIDING IN THE 2017 NYC MARATHON:
The deadline to apply to guide in the NYC Marathon has passed. If you would like to be considered for 2018 please mark your calendar for July 1, 2018. The application is only up for a few short weeks so if you're serious do not miss the deadline. You will find the application right here under the volunteer section.
If you did apply to guide before the deadline and completed Part 1 you have already been sent the directions for Part 2. You have until August 7th, 5pm EST to make sure you complete the steps. Do not wait until 4:50pm EST on the 7th to ask questions if you are having a problem. Contact Russell Koplin now if you need assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Achilles Member and Volunteer Handbook
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
Achilles has some of the most amazing volunteers, many of whom have been with us for years! We want to recognize them here every month. To nominate someone, please email Fiona.
This month, we highlight volunteer Rick Cayer!
How and when did you first hear about Achilles?
In 2014, being new to the Philadelphia area, I was looking for a running community to join. I wound up joining a group called Fishtown Beer Runners, which is more of a social running club. Many of the runners in this group were part of Achilles and they introduced me to the organization. I became a volunteer in March 2015.
What has that experience been like for you?
I have always loved running and I appreciate being able to continue this passion while also serving others. When guiding with Achilles, I often need to put myself in the athletes’ shoes, so to speak, in order to ensure their safety and anticipate their needs while on a run. Additionally, the people I have met are nothing short of inspiring. I have developed genuine friendships in this group that have helped to make me feel that Philadelphia is now my home.
Describe one or two special memories being an Achilles volunteer.
Last February, I organized a trip for the group to the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, Florida. It is always special when you get the opportunity to travel with friends. I guided my good friend Kinzey Lynch, a visually impaired athlete, after training with him through the winter in preparation. After the race, Kinzey and his father, Chris (who is also visually impaired), had a really nice article printed about them in the Tampa Bay Times, which brought awareness to disabled runners as well as Achilles.
Please name one or two Achilles athletes you have guided.
Kinzey Lynch and Matt McAvoy are two athletes I often guide.
Is there anything you would like to bring to the public's attention about being an Achilles guide?
Being an Achilles guide is such a rewarding experience. If you are considering becoming a guide, don't be nervous; it's a learning experience as well and it's okay to sometimes make mistakes. Everyone is there for the same reason and supports one another.
Mention a little bit about your background.
I am originally from Charlton, Massachusetts. After working in the financial services industry in New York City for seven years, I moved to the Philadelphia area with my wife, Stephanie. I now run my own real estate business where I focus on buying, renovating, and renting out homes. My wife and I enjoy traveling; our goal is to visit all 50 states together.
Anything else you might like to add?
The only thing I'd like to add is that this is a great honor for me and I feel very fortunate to be part of this group.