Louisville Water and its volunteers will hydrate thousands of runners in the heat and humidity of the KDF Marathon/miniMarathon on April 28. Nothing, not even water, could dampen the spirits of the all the water stop volunteers.
While Louisville Water sets up all the 17 waters stops and staffs the last water stop on the course with its own volunteers, KDF organizes other local companies to run the other stops along the route. One of those companies is Louisville Gas & Electric Company (LG&E), which has had employee volunteers working their water stop since 1989. According to KDF’s Water Stop Coordinator Robyn Ballinger, LG&E is believed to be the group who has been with KDF’s water stops the longest at 29 years running.
“LG&E employee volunteers and their family members look forward to this event every year,” said Sandy Wade, LG&E’s water stop captain. “It’s an opportunity to give back to the community.”
Wade is a Team Leader – Engineering Design Services at LG&E. She has been a water stop volunteer for 11 years and a water stop captain for the past 8 years. She says that LG&E’s water stop is the first stop on the course at the corner of Main and 17th street and has between 75 and 100 volunteers every year.
“LG&E is very family oriented,” said Wade, who has been with LG&E for 33 years. “This gives everyone and their family members an opportunity to participate in a KDF event.”
LG&E’s commitment to the water stop takes yearlong planning, and begins right after the completion of the last race.
“It starts with our post meeting in May to discuss ways to improve for the next year,” explained Wade. “The core committee begins meeting in early March and begins preparing for the event.
Wade says that they make their water stop fun as well as inspirational for the runners and walkers.
“We have an employee who volunteers as a DJ and encourages and motivates the runners and walkers,” said Wade. “We set up two bucket trucks with banners and a very large American flag that inspires the runners and walkers as they go under it which creates a sense of pride for all of the participants.”
The KDF Marathon/miniMarathon cannot be held without volunteers from throughout the community, including those at Louisville Water and LG&E. As a longtime volunteer, Wade says that this event holds a special place in her heart.
“I enjoy the interaction with the employees I work with,” she said. “I also enjoy being a part of this KDF event. I ran the miniMarathon a couple of times and have a real appreciation for the volunteer involvement.”
Wade also notes an important role volunteers play to ensure participants’ health and safety.
“The Marathon/miniMarathon can be physically challenging, and it’s very important to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water prior to and during the race. The volunteers help make that happen.”