In order to ensure that a Roads Less Traveled Relay is a quality event, volunteers are needed to act as race marshals. As RLT Relays travel through remote rural areas, it is necessary to enlist the help of the participating teams to make the staging of the relays possible. Therefore, all teams need to choose one of the two options to help with the staffing of the race marshal positions by volunteers:

  1. to recruit friends or family to be their volunteers
  2. make a tax-deductible donation to Volunteers With A Purpose (IRS 501(c)(3) status). These funds go to local non-profit organizations that volunteer during the relay as a fund-raising opportunity.

To read an opinion piece to help understand Timberline Events' volunteer model, please click here.


10-person teams provide two (2) volunteers, ultra teams one (1), for the relay. These volunteers cannot be team-running members. Also, team van drivers do not count as relay volunteers.

  • Each volunteer works a shift of 4 - 6 hours in length.
  • Volunteers need to be flexible. As the relay route is 165-miles long and takes place continuously over two days, the race marshal assignments can be anywhere along the route and at any time during the relay. Their assignments are chosen on a first come, first served online selection process that is held shortly after registration closes. Look under the Volunteer menu for the Choosing Assignment Instructions.
  • The majority of assignments are at the Runner Exchanges for each leg, but some are at intersections where runners cross. Responsibilities include maintaining order at the Runner Exchange, checking in each runner, calling out the race number of the incoming runner, or directing relay traffic in the Exchange areas. Go to Volunteer Duties under the Volunteer menu for more information.
  • Volunteers or their team captain will be able to select the location of their assignment online when the selection process opens 2 - 3 weeks before the relay.
  • Any volunteer failing to show up for their assignment will cause their team to be disqualified. If the volunteer arrives late, their team will receive a time penalty equal to how late the volunteer was.
  • Absolutely no young children or pets may be brought along to the assignment! A race marshal's responsibility has to be on the safety and the smooth running of the relay.
  • Alcohol consumption during the relay by the volunteer is prohibited. Any volunteer who shows up intoxicated will be sent home and their team disqualified. The Race Marshall position involves the safety of the relay participants, so volunteers need to show up in an appropriate condition.


Volunteers are required to:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Sign and submit waivers that the team turns in during the check-in the morning of the relay.
  • Provide their own transportation to and from their volunteer assignment location.
  • Wear the provided reflective safety vests while at their assigned location. This is very important, as it will identify the volunteer as a "Race Official" as well as make you visible.
  • Not have any physical limitations that would hinder them from performing the job assigned (approximately four to six consecutive hours in length).
  • Be flexible and willing to fulfill any selected volunteer time throughout the entire 32+-hour race length. This means that many volunteers will be working between the hours of midnight and dawn.
  • Be responsible for staying at their assigned location until relieved by the following shift of volunteers, or until the Zone Coordinator or sweep vehicle releases you.


In lieu of supplying their own volunteers, teams may choose to make a 100% tax-deductible donation to Volunteers With A Purpose (IRS 501(c)(3)).

Roads Less Traveled Relays pass through many small towns. As a way to provide a fund-raising opportunity to deserving non-profit organizations in these areas, Timberline Events created a program called Volunteers With A Purpose. Funds donated to VWAP are then passed on to local non-profit organizations that volunteer to be race marshals during the relay as a fund-raising opportunity.

You select your volunteer option when registering. If you choose the non-profit option, you will be sent a separate invoice for the donation. Once the non-profit option is choosen, a team can not change.

Volunteer Option #2 donation: go to this page for current donation levels.



A team's failure to fulfill their volunteer requirement will result in the team being unable to start or in its disqualification.


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