Sacramento’s Run to Feed the Hungry
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services‘ (SFBFS) highly anticipated annual Run to Feed the Hungry event promotes the idea of pedestrian safety. This rain or shine event started in 1994 with just under 800 participants and is continuing to attract immense crowds of all ages. Ms. Siefkin indicated that a record of 29,002 people participated this year. With more people on the roads, an increase in pedestrian injuries is likely. Extra steps are taken to prevent pedestrian accidents throughout the duration of the event.
All registrants are required to sign liability waivers provided to the organization by Capital Road Race Management. CRRM, a Sacramento organization, manages about 90+ events annually, so they are very familiar with the risks and liability associated with large scale runs. CRRM helps minimize pedestrian accidents from taking place.
Capital Road Race provides event timing and management services with a comprehensive approach. The benefit of working with them is that an organization that is not in the business of organizing runs such as Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, can consolidate a number of services for an event with one partner, from timing, finish line set up, registration and data management and race check in and on-site registration. As part of this effort, CRRM handles the registration process which includes having all participants sign liability waivers which are periodically reviewed by California attorneys to ensure legal compliance.
Accordingly to Ms. Siefkin, however her goal is “to let folks know in advance to take precautions.” Additionally, Run to Feed the Hungry does not allow pets to participate as just another example of what the organization does to avoid injuries. For one, there are other events throughout the year focused on our furry friends. But more importantly, the presence of pets can create additional hazards because they would be around machinery that is unusual and other loud noises. A frightened animal could create increased risk to Run participants. That said, strollers are allowed to participate in this family event and there are designated locations for stroller participation.
WHAT PREPARATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR INJURY?
Kelly provided excellent information on this point.
- We have a professional company to park vehicles.
- We enlist local police for the day of the event.
- We have medical personnel on hand throughout the course.
- We have a first-aid station which is actually the most utilized. Kelly reports that people can and do get dehydrated and there are trained professionals available every step of the way.
- Safety monitors
- With these kinds of safety precautions in place, the organization is doing all they can to minimize risk.
WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO YOU PROVIDE TO YOUR VOLUNTEERS?
Kelly explained that all volunteers go through a 90-minute orientation. Those that fit into specialized roles (such as first aid, etc.) may require additional training. In terms of safety for example, there were over 150 volunteers on the course for the sole purpose of monitoring and ensuring safety, and they are given an additional briefing the day of the event.
By adequately training volunteers, these individuals are best prepared to handle injuries and risks that they see along the course making this a safe and fun event.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THE RUNNER CAN DO TO AVOID INJURY?
In recent years, participating in 5 and 10K “fun runs” has become increasingly more and more popular. Holiday events are particularly enjoyable as a way of getting out and spending time with family while at the same time, doing something good for your community. Run to Feed the Hungry is precisely one of those events with participants of all ages, families, individuals, avid runners and those who just want to walk the course on a beautiful day. The bigger and more elaborate these races become, however, the greater the risk of injury can be. For that reason, participating in a Run that is extremely well organized with safety protocols in place, such as Run to Feed the Hungry, is a great idea.
If you have decided to participate in a 5k Run, whether for fun or competitively, there are some rules you can personal also observe to avoid your own injury.
- Select a running shoe that fits you well and one that you feel comfortable in to ensure a more relaxed, secure experience with less chance of injury happening.
- Stretch you get started to prepare your muscles for the Run or walk ahead.
- Stay Hydrated. Drink water along the way to avoid dehydration.
- Listen to your body. If your body is telling you to stop by giving you signs through aches and pains, by all means stop.
Other ways to get involved in local runs are to participate as a volunteer. SFBFS offers a variety of ways to get involved and help support the Sacramento community. In 2015/2016, 8,271 volunteers gave 76,247 hours of service! That is equivalent to 36 full-time employees and another way to make a huge impact.
Kelly Siefkin, VP of Communications & Marketing at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services provided some awesome information about her organization, what they are doing for the Sacramento community and ways that they attempt to make their events fun and safe for the entire family.
What is Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services All About?
With 15 diverse programs and services, a staff of 82 employees, several thousand volunteers and the financial support of the community, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is the main food bank of Sacramento County serving 135,000 men, women and children monthly. Services are dedicated to those in need by alleviating their immediate pain and moving them towards self-sufficiency and financial independence.
All services are provided at no cost to families and individuals seeking to change their lives. Services include:
- Parent Education
- Adult Education
- Health & Nutrition