We have a number of different volunteer opportunities during the year.

Marathon Pace Team

Each year during the Portland Marathon and other races, TRL provides pace teams to lead runners to their target finish times. Typically, pacers run only half the race, so this is a great way to turn your long run into being a hero for people chasing Boston, or some other goal.

Special Olympics

Portland’s regional Special Olympics is a stepping stone to the Oregon state meet, U.S. Nationals and ultimately the Special Olympics World Championships. It’s a big deal, and a major blessing for those who’ve had the opportunity to assist.

Helping the Needy

TRL members volunteer on the third Saturday of every month at the Blanchet House, a local establishment providing daily meals to those in need. We also provide thousands of used shoes to the homeless and to under privileged kids at local high schools

Portland Marathon Pace Team

Our goal, each year, is to provide as many pacers as we can for a wide variety of pace groups, using 2 runners pace each half of the marathon for a large number of finish times–with a total of four runners for each pace group. Making this work is one of the volunteer highlights of our annual cycle–nearly as demanding as providing scores of volunteers for the Special Olympics, and just as rewarding. If you want to help, contact redlizardrunningclub@gmail.com.

We do the same for other local races (including half-marathons). There are few things more rewarding than using your normal long run to pacer others to their dreams. And whatever your pace, we probably have a slot for you. Historically, we’ve paced everything from a 3:00 marathon (6:52 per mile) to 5:00 (11:27 per mile).

Portland Marathon 2019
Dillon Vibes Photography 2022

Special Olympics

The 2022 event was held on July 30, but stay tuned for details on 2023.

We typically need at least 60-70 volunteers to make it go. You can volunteer all day (usually 830AM-4PM) or just the morning or afternoon; whatever works for you. Volunteers receive a Special Olympics T-shirt and complimentary lunch. But the biggest give will be the full heart you receive , your full heart will be the neatest gift you receive from being a part of something truly special. Don’t worry if you have little or no experience with track meets. What we need are willing hearts and hands. We can teach the rest.

You can sign up or ask questions by posting to one of our social media threads or by contacting Lou Karl – lou@redlizardrunning.com

Helping the Houseless

Runners are privileged. We have warm homes, warm clothes, good shoes–many things we take for granted that others lack.

For nearly two decades, TRL has helped those who aren’t so privileged by volunteering to help with dinner preparation and service on the third Saturday of every month at the Blanchet House, a local establishment providing daily meals to those in need. Each December, we collect clothing for the homeless. Year-round, we collect used shoes for those in need of warm, reliable footwear: a perfect use for your old running shoes that no longer are suitable for running, but still have lots of walking life left in them. To date, we’ve collected nearly 3,500 pairs–enough to walk to the Moon and back 4 times. If they are really lightly used, we give them to low-income runners at local high schools. (We can do the same with lightly mused running clothes you no longer need.)