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. 

Achilles International
42 West 38th Street
NYC 10018

Phone: 212-354-0300 

fax: 212-354-3978
e-mail: volunteers@achillesinternational.org

*NYC VOLUNTEERS! Please click here to find out about all the local Achilles workouts and events!

Achilles Volunteer Application Form

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...

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: rkoplin@achillesinternational.org.

Achilles Member and Volunteer Handbook


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 Kathleen Adinolfi!

How and when did you first hear about Achilles?

A friend told me about her experience guiding an Achilles athlete during the NYC Marathon several years ago. It sounded like such an exciting and rewarding experience that it became a goal for me to do the same.

When did you first become a volunteer?

My first experience with Achilles was when I acted as a standby guide in the 2016 NYC Marathon. I felt blessed to be paired mid-race with a wonderful woman named Sarah Heller and her guides. They were all full of energy, enthusiasm and positivity throughout every last mile. It was an experience I’ll never forget. I met so many welcoming and kind Achilles guides and athletes, who introduced me to my local Achilles Queens chapter. I have been volunteering with Achilles Queens since that time.

What has that experience been like for you?

Fundraising for Achilles and guiding Achilles athletes has impacted my life in countless ways. I’ve met incredibly kind, strong and fearless people who remind me that there is so much good in this world. I am inspired by the grit and strength of Achilles athletes. And now for me, a run in the cold wind and rain is just another run, because I know that there is also an Achilles athlete somewhere out there battling and enduring far greater challenges. I had always said I would never want to run a full marathon, but then I met this group of amazing people who complete all kinds of races despite their disabilities and my mind was changed. I decided to run the 2017 NYC Marathon as a charity entrant for Achilles International. I wanted to give back to this group that had offered me so much inspiration.

Describe one or two special memories being an Achilles volunteer.

I have met so many special people through guiding/volunteering and it all culminated as I ran the NYC marathon as a charity entrant.  The day of the marathon, I was able to share exciting pre-race moments with so many of these athletes. I cheered for Achilles athletes along the way, just as they cheered for me. Seeing the athletes out on the course and knowing their inspiring stories reminded me that obstacles can be overcome and pushed me to be strong along the way. There were also other volunteers out there cheering for me and the Achilles teams. I’ll never forget seeing one Achilles Queens volunteer cheering in Queens and then to my surprise, seeing him rooting us on again in Manhattan as we entered Central Park. And then the very end of my first marathon couldn’t have been any more perfect; I caught up to Sarah Heller and her team, the woman and team that inspired me to take on this challenge. We shared a moment for a selfie and high fives just before the finish line!

Please name one or two athletes you have guided.

Sarah Heller, Jenny Hwang and John Pierre.

Is there anything you would like to bring to the public's attention about being an Achilles guide?

Achilles guides and athletes never cease going above and beyond. They don’t just simply volunteer or take on challenging miles. Being a guide for Achilles means being a friend, helping with transportation, fixing wheelchairs, spending time recruiting new members or maybe even walking a guide dog while his or her visually impaired athlete does a training run. And it doesn’t stop there. Achilles athletes are out there running races and fundraising to support and give back to the organization that is there for them. What an amazing group of people!

Mention a little bit about your background.

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and now live in Queens. I am a speech pathologist who specializes in evaluating and treating hospitalized patients who have speech, language and/or swallowing difficulties. In my spare time, I love to do anything active. Running, snowboarding, Cross-fit, hiking, camping and biking are some of my favorites.