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Volunteering Information

Volunteers are the Life Blood of Western States. Over 1600 dedicated and passionate volunteers help the 369 runners get from Olympic Valley to Auburn on race day. If you’d like to volunteer at this year’s race, either contact an aid station captain or fill out the I Want To Volunteer form (now open for 2023), specifying your preferences and we’ll find a place for you to make a contribution. Read and watch below if you want to find out more about the different ways you could help.

Here are the volunteers at the Devil’s Thumb aid station in action during the 2011 race.

What to expect as a Volunteer…

Start/Finish Line:

  • Start – – assist with runner check-in in Olympic Valley on the Friday before the event, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Finish – – assist with finish line setup, breakdown or runner related duties. Volunteers needed both Saturday and Sunday.

Aid Station General Assist:

Report to Aid Station Captain. Assist runners with fluid, food and drop bag requirements. Volunteers needed both Saturday and Sunday.

Cable Crossing:

Report to Cable Manager. Escort runners across the Middle Fork of the American River.

  • Low water years – – escort runners onto and off of cable stretched across the river.
  • High water years – – escort runners into and out of river rafts. Volunteers needed both Saturday and Sunday.

Sweep Team:


See the Medical Volunteer page.

Ham Radio Operators:

See the Communications page.

Webcast — Runner Tracking:

Webcast volunteers use their own laptop computer to connect to the Internet (via WiFi or Ethernet connection provided by the Run) to directly update the Event Tracking Database with runner status info at an assigned aid station. At some checkpoints, volunteers using a smartphone-friendly web form, are able to perform these same functions without a laptop.

Laptoppers are also in a position to provide “Where’s My Runner” info to Run officials, crewmembers and spectators.

Detailed info for Laptop Reporting volunteers is available on the Webcast page.

If you are interested in helping with trail work, checkout our trail work signup pages to see the available work days and to signup.