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 Jeff Gelband!

How and when did you first hear about Achilles?

A few years ago I started looking to get involved with organizations in the city that give back to the community. I was fortunate to discover Achilles during an online search and immediately felt drawn to their mission statement, “to enable people with all types of disabilities… to promote personal achievement.” I started with Achilles in July 2015.

What has that experience been like for you?

There are very few things in my life that I have found more rewarding than becoming part of the Achilles community and making friends with all those involved. Running is merely the medium to the connection you make with people of all different backgrounds. 

Describe one or two special memories being an Achilles volunteer.

In April this year, I had the opportunity to guide Irwin Ramirez during the Boston Marathon. Irwin set a goal to break 4 hours.  Through nothing but sheer will and determination, Irwin crossed the finish line at 3:58. Irwin’s pride and personal gratification with this achievement made the race one of the most fulfilling I have experienced. 

I have also been fortunate to experience this same fulfillment through my long-time running partnership with Eleanor Chapman. I have been able to see her grow as both a runner and strong “independent” young woman during our regular runs in Central Park. Each milestone she achieves, from 5Ks to half marathons, brings me new levels of pride in her ability to overcome any obstacle.  

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

I would just tell prospective guides who worry about the time commitment that there is more flexibility than one may expect. Consistency is certainly appreciated, especially when regularly guiding athletes, but conflicting schedules are completely understandable.

Mention a little bit about your background.

I grew up in New Jersey and moved to the city after graduating from University of Michigan seven years ago. My passion outside of Achilles is boxing and playing guitar, especially when I have the privilege of being a special guest with Tom DeRosa’s Achilles blues band!