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Big Sur International Marathon Runs On Volunteers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            APRIL 25, 2002


Contact:          Franca Gargiulo
                        Media Director
                        Big Sur International Marathon


Big Sur International Marathon Runs On Volunteers


Carmel, CA (April 24, 2002) - Apparently 2,457 (at last count) area residents will be volunteering their most valuable time during the next few days to ensure the annual Big Sur Marathon and related events take place smoothly This works out so that each 2.5 athletes have their own volunteer! These volunteers reflect the socio-economic, cultural and educational diversity of Monterey County.


 Last year the bus ticket distribution desk at the Marathon Expo Friday/Saturday at the Monterey Convention center was manned by six PhD's.  Central Lighthouse Keepers hand out race numbers at the Expo, Habitat for Humanity helps direct the 3 a.m. traffic, Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade members manage the start, high school and scout groups join the Pope John XXIII Aids Ministry and other grant groups to get up way before dawn to cheerfully hand out Gatorade and water to runners.  School orchestras and other musical groups brave the early morning chill to provide uplifting musical support and generate funds for their respective grant groups.


 A very special group of volunteers are the Ham Radio Operators.  " Those nifty little cell phones crammed with the very latest cyber technology  -- the ones you get your 5 year old grandkid to help set up your message retrieval jobber -- do not work worth a damn on the road to Big Sur!"  states ex navy P3 Orion Commander John Mutty.  "The Ham Radio Operators have faithfully turned up just after midnight on the last Saturday in April for the past 17 years and maintain a constant stream of communication back and fourth along the closed Highway One."


There are also other individuals who entertain and create memories for runners every year at the various aid stations. 


Aid Station #4 at mile 7 is led by Harriet and Furman Shepherd who helped launch
the marathon in its infant days. Their charitable organization is 100 Women Helping
 Women.  "Not only are the Shepherds out there working tirelessly on behalf of Big Sur and their charitable organization, Furman's Sunday morning breakfasts on race day are legendary," remarked Al Polley, Aid Station Director for the marathon.  "We also see folks like Bill Scott Athletic Director for The York School," continued Polley.  "With an enrollment of only 200, York brings 45 volunteers to the event.  They are earning community service credit towards graduation."

" Without the help of these and all the other magnificent volunteers, the Big Sur International Marathon could simply not take place," remarked Tony Greening, Volunteer Director for the Marathon. 


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