Marathon notebook: Volunteers by the hundreds go the extra mile to help runners

None was a finisher of Sunday’s Capital City Marathon, but without hundreds of volunteers to help put on the event, no one would have finished.

Race director Nona Snell estimated that more than 550 volunteers assisted the more than 1,800 runners, and those volunteer numbers don’t include folks like police.

They also don’t include students from the Tumwater-based Bodymechanics School of Myotheraphy & Massage.

Instructor Wayne Johnson said the school brought 19 tables and 20 students to work on runners’ lower body muscles — including quadriceps, hamstrings and calves — for 10 to15 minutes at a time, and inform runners about muscle groups, stretching and hydration.

“That’s our main point,” Johnson said. “That way, they can feel better tomorrow.”

Johnson estimated that approximately 400 massages were performed — and popularity grew as the day wore on.

“(The runners) all have smiles on their faces when they leave,” he said.

Near the Mile 4 marker at the corner of 36th Avenue and Gull Harbor Road was the ATI Physical Therapy (formerly Apple Physical Therapy) station, where a dozen volunteers dished out water and an electrolyte replenisher.

The crew included one of the day’s youngest volunteers, 7-year-old Zachary Kadlec, a second-grader at Olympia’s Pioneer Elementary School.

His favorite part of volunteering?

“Giving out water,” Zachary said, noting that he received many ‘Thank yous’ from the marathoners as they passed him.


Close to 90 percent of Sunday’s runners hailed from Washington. Runners came from 18 other states and Canada.

According to the results, runners traveled from Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Vermont and British Columbia.


Snell said Sunday that registration numbers were up slightly from 2014 in all races. Number of finishers: 294 in the marathon, 960 in the half-marathon, and 463 in the 5-mile run.