Location: the water stop is located on Ridge Avenue where Main Street meets Ridge Pike. Basically where the Wissahickon Bike Trail intersects with Ridge Pike. Where Ridge and Kelly Drive meet. Where Tommy Gunns used to be.
IMPORTANT PARKING INSTRUCTIONS:
- The closest place to park is at the Septa Wissahickon Train Station (google map)
- BUT, depending on what time you get there, City Line Avenue and Main Street will be closed to cars. So you’ll have to either take the Green Lane or Route 1 exits to park there.
- Directions from Green Lane (pdf)
- Directions from Walnut/Shurs Lane (pdf) (From Rt1: Fox exit to Henry Ave to Shurs, then follow instructs)
- You can also park at Midvale but that will be a longer walk.
For those of you who have not volunteered for a water stop at the Philadelphia Marathon, let me give you a brief description of what to expect:
Work starts at 6:30 am and generally lasts until about 1 pm. That is a long time so all we ask for is for volunteers to sign up for any two hour shift within this time period. If you can volunteer for a longer time period, this will be gratefully accepted. If you have not done so already, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org what hours you would like to sign up for.
As far as the duties, it starts with the setup. I generally arrive at 6 am to make sure the truck with supplies is on site, but there is not much to be done until 6:30. We set up our tables in the middle of Main Street/Ridge Avenue because runners are going both directions at this point in the race. Since the police generally do not close this road until 6:30, we cannot really set up until then. Because the race starts at 7 and the first runners start coming through a little after 8:30, we have to move briskly to get ready. The volume of runners is manageable until about 9:30 when it really gets busy for an hour and a half, then the volume tapers down. Working the water stop is most fun when the volume is high and the chaos can be exhilarating. Duties include handing out the water and Gatorade, replenishing these cups, collecting the discarded cups, and encouraging the runners.
Site cleanup starts around noon as the stragglers come through. This is generally the least desirable shift because most of the runners have already passed through, the site is a mess, and the area must be left spotless. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
If we worked one of the earlier water stops on the course, we could be finished and back home by 11 am. But staffing the water stop at the 18 (going out)/ 22 (coming back) mile mark means we are out there pretty much until the bitter end. But this location has its advantages. At this late stage in the race, many of the runners really need our support. Generally the slower the runners, the more they need and appreciate our presence. By the way, we will be working with a group of students from Bishop Dock High School in Lansdale who have helped staff this site for more than five years.
Just a few additional comments. Procedures at the water stop have become stricter over the years. The health department checks us to make sure volunteers are washing their hands and wearing gloves while preparing and serving the water. Notes are taken for noncompliance. All gloves and soaps will be supplied at the site and procedures will be explained when you arrive. Also, all volunteers are required to sign up in advance. See below for detailed instructions. Finally, weather can make a big difference. We have been lucky for many years with the weather on marathon day generally being quite fair. Bu tbe prepared for whatever the conditions may be. And when handing out water, you tend to get wet. So be prepared!
Thanks very much for volunteering. Any problems, e-mail me or call me at 215-789-5711. See you race day, Dan Gordon