Everyones energy fuels Rachel’s passion
Rachel Munday is celebrating her fifth year as Executive Director at the Manitoba Marathon. A lot has changed since she started in 2015, but what hasn’t changed is her passion and commitment to putting on an exemplary race for every single participant who toes the line on Father’s Day. Look for Rachel on race day at the finish line as she cheers herself hoarse welcoming runners to their goal.
When did you first start working at Manitoba Marathon? Can you talk a bit about your history with the marathon and how you got started?
I started with the Marathon in March 2015: only 3 months to race day! I had run the Full and Half Marathons a few times over the years, and my kids had done the relay and the super runs when they were younger. The Manitoba Marathon was the first half and full marathons I had ever done so the event has always been special to me.
What are some of the biggest changes you have implemented since you took on the role of ED?
The biggest challenges were probably the ones that have had the biggest overall impact on the event: reversing the course in 2016 and then moving the finish line into IG Field in 2017.
How has your work at Manitoba Marathon changed your personal life?
For me it has meant more time with my family. In my previous role, I worked a lot of evenings and every weekend and this position has allowed me to find more balance.
What is the most exciting part for you in the week leading up to race day?
Two things happen in race week that really kick it off for me. On the Thursday evening prior to the race, we meet with the leads of all of the volunteer teams at our equipment depot. Seeing the race course equipment laid out in its entirety and ready to go, and feeling the excitement of the volunteer leads is amazing. The second is the opening of the expo. There is a special energy that you can feel even before the doors open. People are excited, some are nervous, but the energy is amazing!
So you have survived race week and the big day has arrived. Where can we find you on race day?
On race day I arrive at IG Field very early to do a once over and have a quiet moment before volunteers and staff start to arrive. Then I head over to the start line to kick off the festivities and start the race. Then I run back to field level and I’m at the finish line until the last runner crosses the line.
How has your family been involved on race day throughout the years?
My family has worked at the race every year since I started. They all have many years of experience working races, so they generally get put in jobs that are a little tricky, or where we have an opening that needs to be filled. My husband is the lead for setting up, managing race day and taking down everything at field level. My kids help with VIP, full marathon massage and elite start line.
What advice would you give to a volunteer joining the Manitoba Marathon for the first time?
Make sure you read the information about the role you have on race day, and dress for the weather. Runners are so appreciative of the volunteers and remember that the race could not happen without you. Enjoy every minute!