Unofficial Volunteers Pitch In at Boston Marathon

Unofficial volunteers wanted to pitch in during the Marathon.
Unofficial volunteers wanted to pitch in during the Marathon.
Lara Salahi/ staff

Among the sea of spectators at Wellesley, a group of three kids and an adult woman opened a plastic container filled with bananas and began to hand them out to runners as they passed.

“Bananas, bananas!” they shouted while sticking the bananas out, hoping runners who wanted them would just grab and go.

A reporter approached them and asked, “Are you passing out bananas to the runners?”

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The woman said, “Yes. I’m sorry. Are we not allowed to do that?”

They weren’t the only ones. Less than a block away, another group of kids were handing out orange slices. Farther down the road, there were popsicles, water, even Vaseline to prevent runners from chafing.

These groups were not part of Boston Athletic Association’s volunteers. They did not have official tables set up. Indeed, they just came with their beach chairs and Gladware of supplies to cheer on the runners and help any way they could.

The excited group came from Wayland to cheer the runners. But they also wanted to do something more than clap, wave and cheer. It was their way of telling the runners who hit mile marker 14 and beyond that they were there for support and to just keep going.