On a chilly Christmas Eve morning, members of the Twin City Track Club gathered at the William G. White YMCA for the 27th running of the annual Hats & Bells Elf Run. Before the run began, however, the group took a moment to recognize this year’s Volunteer of the Year, Heather Hugosson.
A longtime member of TCTC – “post the popsicle stick times and pre-TCTC chip times when we had to keep the runners in their order as they crossed the finish line,” she remembers – Heather loves the opportunity to support the running community in Winston-Salem.
“It’s fun,” Heather says of her volunteering with TCTC. “Runners are typically happy people. It’s also a great way to gain knowledge and perspective for only some of what goes on behind the scenes. There’s a lot more to it than appears and the mind-boggling effort is deserving of appreciation.”
This year alone, Heather, a former board member, has volunteered for 11 club events, including all four Fit 4 or Forfeit Race Series races. Board member Bill Gibbs appreciates the hard work and knowledge she brings to the club.
“The old cliché is we could not do events without volunteers,” Bill says. “But the cliché should be GOOD volunteers and we are lucky at TCTC to have great volunteers. Heather is one of the best.”
Heather helps with everything from packet stuffing – which for big races takes a couple of days – to serving as part of a group that Bill bounces ideas off of to make races better. “She never shies away from her opinion,” he jokes. She was also integral in establishing the Hobby Trails race and marking the course and measuring it every year.
A field hockey and softball player in school, Heather actually came to running later in life, and she finds being part of TCTC and volunteering a great way to meet people while staying healthy. “This area has fantastic choices for where or with whom to run, whether road, track or trail,” she says. “There’s a reason it was named a runner-friendly community.”