With an event that draws thousands of people together at once, a lot of coordination and planning is required. The Gobble Jog takes about a year to organize and prepare for, said Kaye Cagle, at MUST Ministries. The jog is heavily dependent upon its volunteers, which this year, broke its own record for the event. Too many people wanted to volunteer than there were slots for, said Volunteer Coordinator Jeff Watkins.
The Marietta resident has been involved in the Gobble Jog for five years, he said. This was his third year serving as the volunteer coordinator, a job that involves coordinating the almost 200 people who signed up to volunteer this year.
Volunteers sign up online to fill the 220 positions needed to make the jog run smoothly, Watkins said, and without them, the efficiency of the jog would be impossible.
From passing out water bottles, to manning tables at packet pickup and registering people on the day of the race, volunteers essentially run the show on Thanksgiving, Watkins said.
“It wouldn’t happen without them, we need them to run the event,” Watkins said.
This year, Watkins saw a quicker response to the call for volunteers, and this year they had to post on the Gobble Jog website that the volunteer positions were all full.
But MUST Ministries is already planning the race for next year. For those who want to give their time, Watkins recommends people visit www.gobblejog.org to get involved.