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June 2020 - Taylor James

Congratulations to our June Volunteer of the Month, Taylor James! Taylor has been volunteering with Atlanta Track Club at the AJC Peachtree Road Race for 10 years! She has honed her skills as an excellent course marshal, making sure the course is safe for our participants, free from cars and notifies folks of emergencies if necessary. She now shares her knowledge with volunteers as Crew Chief of Zone 2 at the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Though Peachtree looks different this year, we look forward to having Taylor and her expertise with us at Peachtree on Thanksgiving Day!

Do you remember your first time volunteering with Atlanta Track Club? What brings you back?

If my math is correct on 10 years, my first time volunteering was at the 2010 AJC Peachtree Road Race. My friend, Elizabeth, and I signed up as course marshals. We were assigned a spot on cardiac hill-easily one of the toughest parts of the course. As a course marshal, your most important job is keeping the athletes safe, but a large part of the job is cheering them on. It's such a great feeling to see the racers pick up their pace just because someone is there cheering for them.

Do you have a favorite Atlanta Track Club event?

Definitely the Peachtree. There's nothing like seeing racers of all varieties completely fill the street for hours on end. The wheelchair athletes who start off the event are just incredible and truly inspiring. Then the elite runners sprint by, seeming to have barely broken a sweat by the time they're reaching the three-mile mark. Then the floodgates open and you start seeing runners who are aiming to set personal records and those who are just there to have fun. People dress in red, white, and blue, plus a myriad of other super creative costumes. And all of Atlanta comes together to celebrate our city and our community.

What is your best memory from volunteering with Atlanta Track Club?

Getting to be a part of the 2020 U. S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials was such a special experience. Though the Olympics will be delayed, I'm so grateful the Trials were able to happen right before we really started experiencing the effects of COVID-19 in Georgia. It was phenomenal to see months of intense planning put into action on race day, allowing the Trials to go off without a hitch.

Do you have a favorite volunteer assignment?

I absolutely love serving as the Zone 2 crew chief for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. All of the volunteers I work with are so awesome and dedicated to making the race a success. It's fantastic to walk my section and see the volunteers keeping the course clear, looking out for those in need of medical attention, providing assistance, cheering on the athletes, and really just going above and beyond in their course marshal duties. A couple years ago, one of my volunteers even chased down a car that managed to sneak onto the course before the race! It's great to catch up with those who return year after year, and to meet new people who may be volunteering for the first time.

What do you do for a living?

I am working on my Ph.D. in cognition and brain science at Georgia Tech. My dissertation project is investigating how symptoms of depression affect memory across the lifespan. My research lab, the Memory and Aging Lab, is always looking for new participants!

Do you have any words of advice or wisdom for any new Atlanta Track Club volunteers?

The best advice I can give is to have a positive attitude. That may be hard when a race like the Peachtree requires you to wake up before 4 AM, but I find the sleepiness is quickly overtaken by excitement once I step onto the course. Review all necessary information about your volunteer position ahead of time, know who to contact in case of an emergency, and most importantly: have fun!

Volunteer of the Month

Mizuno strives to be Atlanta's essential and reliable running brand. Since 2018 they have been committed to YOU, the essential and reliable volunteers who make our 30+ events and programs possible. They provide the Volunteer of the Month with seasonal apparel and discounted footwear to make all those hours spent on your feet more comfortable.

Previous Volunteers of the Month

"Volunteer of the Month" began in March of 2015 with the launch of our new website as a way to honor and recognize our amazing Atlanta Track Club volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Congratulations to our Volunteers of the Month and thank you for all that you do!

May 2020 - Tiffany Addison

April 2020 - Courtney Strosnider

March 2020 - David Henry

January 2020 - Bob Wells

December 2019 - Svetlana Dimova

November 2019 - Megan McGuigan

October 2019 - Jay Hallman

September 2019 - Komlan Tamatekou

August 2019 - Jamie Howard

July 2019 - Barbara Carroll

June 2019 - Larry McDaniel

May 2019 - Tim Parker

April 2019 - Deborah Wright

March 2019 - Shannon Parris

February 2019 - Lisa Obser

January 2019 - LaTashia Hill

December 2018 - Roberta McQuade

November 2018 - Susan Jones

October 2018 - Sylvia Chambless

September 2018 - Cartersville High School Wrestling Team

August 2018 - Cindy Patton

July 2018 - Dan and Mary Reed

June 2018 - James Bryant

May 2018 - Tomica Holmes

April 2018 - Linda Bode Phinney

March 2018 - Jess and Walter Kolis

‚ÄčFebruary 2018 - Marylyn Sabol

January 2018 - Jennifer Grunbaum

December 2017 - Carol Dell

November 2017 -Nisa Sommers

October 2017 - Susan Porteous

September 2017 - Carol Gsell

August 2017 - Sandra Smith

July 2017 - Bill Royston

June 2017 - Shirlene Stafford

May 2017 - Lacey Phillips

April 2017 - Craig Sprinkle

March 2017 - Mike Cook

February 2017 - Virginia Harris

January 2017 - Bill and Dana Zavatky

December 2016 - Dr. Robert Albin

November 2016 - Kathryn Welden

October 2016 - Bill Strickland

September 2016 - Ann Bentsen

August 2016 - Dinnie Rogers

July 2016 - Betsey Kidwell

June 2016 - Diana Watson

May 2016 - Eileen Fannon

April 2016 - Roosevelt Thomas and Thomas Baker

March 2016 - Mike Idacavage

February 2016 - Dennis Burgess

January 2016 - TJ Hadley

December 2015 - Cee Cee and PJ Johnson

November 2015 - Sheila Ball

October 2015 - Alta Urtarte

September 2015 - Gary Hosmer

August 2015 - Joseph and Patricia Scruggs

July 2015 - Mike Toulouza

June 2015 - John Wallace

May 2015 - Amy Malcom

April 2015 - Sherri Madore

March 2015 - Vanessa Bennett