Thinking Volunteering at Our 5K? Learn More News | GOTR Chicago


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Thinking Volunteering at Our 5K? Learn More

A group of volunteers at the the Girls on the Run-Chicago 5K in 2022

Learn more about volunteering for the Girls on the Run-Chicago 5K! The event takes place Saturday, May 13, 2023 in Chicago's Grant Park. Register to volunteer here

Do I have to run?

Absolutely not! In fact, you will be doing no running as a volunteer at the 5K—you will just be making sure that the event is joyful and safe for all of the people who are running the 5K. 

How can I get assigned to volunteer with my friend?

Because of the size of the event, we can’t guarantee that you will be placed with your friend. However, we will do our best to match you at the same station and the best way to let us know your preference is in the volunteer registration form when it asks if you are volunteering with a group. Select “Other” from the drop down box and write in the name of your friend. 

If you are coming with a group of volunteers and you aren’t already in the group drop-down menu, let us know, and we will add your group name to the drop-down menu so your volunteers can make the right selection. Or, you can still have folks select “Other” from the list and write in your group name. 

Can I bring my kids?

We love kids! You can bring your kids as long as you plan to be their chaperone and responsible for their wellbeing for the entirety of the event. All of the volunteer stations require people to be on their feet for five hours, so we find that the experience isn’t very enjoyable for kids younger than 8. If you want to bring an infant, please plan to have them strapped to your body because strollers aren’t practical for any of the volunteer stations. 

Can I bring my dog?

Unfortunately, no. The 5K is a very busy and chaotic environment and all of our volunteers will need their hands free the entire time during their shifts. 

What is the time commitment?

We ask all volunteers to expect to be onsite 6 am–11 am. There are some shifts that will start at 6:30 am instead of 6 am, but because of the event schedule, we don’t have volunteer shifts that start later than 6:30 am or that end after 11 am. If you are curious about what the day will look like, here is the run of show:


What will I be required to do?

Each volunteer will do something critical to the success of our 5K. Some will be placed at aid stations and hand water out to runners on-course, some will assist at our activities station and help participants decorate bibs or make friendship bracelets, some will be bus greeters and help teams find their place onsite, and some will help at the finish line and hand out medals and snacks. 

We allow people to state their preferred volunteer role, but we can’t guarantee that placement. Between 200 and 300 volunteers will come out to support this event, and we will place folks based on wherever the need is highest, with the goal of keeping groups of volunteers stationed together. 

Can I get there after 6 AM?

The latest that a volunteer shift will start is 6:30 am. Because of the event schedule, we don’t have volunteer shifts that start or end at different times. If you are curious about what the day will look like, here is the run of show:


Where is parking and public transportation?


The event is located at Arvey Field, which is the southern-most tip of Grant Park, just north of Museum Campus. Here is a map that shows the nearest parking garages. 



Our official parking partner for the 5K is Millennium Garages. They’re offering a special event rate of $13.50 for up to 12 hours for participants and spectators in the Grant Park South Garage. Click here to get the discount.

Located just to the south of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Grant Park South Garage is located along South Michigan Avenue between Jackson Boulevard and Van Buren Street (325 S. Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60604).

If you are taking the CTA, the Van Buren Red Line stop is the nearest Chicago 'L' station. If you are taking the Metra, the Museum Campus/11th Street stop is the nearest. 

Regardless of where you choose to park, you should expect at least a 15-minute walk to the site. Please factor that into your plans for an on-time arrival. 

Will there be food and drink?

We will provide light breakfast items, snacks, coffee, and water to volunteers when they check in. You will be at your stations for longer than you will be in the check-in area with access to food, so please make sure to take granola bars with you to your station and drink a bottle of water before you leave for your post! 

Is there a place for me to leave my stuff?

There won’t be a place to leave bags or purses, so please plan to bring minimal items with you, or bring a bag (like a backpack or fanny pack) that you can comfortably wear for the entirety of your shift. 

Will there be restrooms?

Yes, there will be porta-potties onsite at the event. 

What should I wear?

You should wear whatever you need to feel comfortable being on your feet for five hours. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and light layering, because it will be cool in the morning when you arrive and warmer by the time you leave. You will receive a 5K volunteer t-shirt the morning of the event to wear. We suggest wearing a base layer that is a t-shirt or tank top that can be easily layered over; or, you can always change your top in the porta-potties. 

What if it rains?

The event will happen rain or shine, unless there is lightning. If there is lightning, our command center will make a call about whether the event is safe to hold. All volunteers and attendees will be notified by text message if the event is canceled for that reason. Please come with your phone fully charged and have your phone with you throughout the event to receive these communications. 



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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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