The Akron Marathon staff has been extraordinary to the Blue Line Beginners, from coming out to every Saturday morning outing to organizing trial runs and guest speakers.

Now we have a chance to give back.

If you are free Friday, Sept. 15 from 9 to 11 a.m., the marathon can use our help passing out notifications to inform residents and businesses about the Blue Line coming through their neighborhood for the Sept. 23 First Energy Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay.

It's a fun tradition that I actually did a story on back in 2012, when the Torchbearers were among the groups volunteering. We still have the story online: https://www.ohio.com/akron/news/marathon-volunteers-urge-residents-to-cheer-race-day

I signed up last night, and if you happen to be free that morning, I hope you'll join me. Follow this link to volunteer: http://akronmarathon.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=19982  ... When you get to the "notes" part at the bottom, type in "Blue Line Beginner." Once you register as a volunteer, you'll receive an email from Katie Riley confirming your registration and providing a link to your account so you can see your status.

If you aren't running in the Sept. 23 race, you can also consider volunteering for a variety of needs on that day. The link above lists the options and shows how many spots are left. Whether you're passing out fluids, helping at the finish or start lines or assisting with the relays, you can still be part of us on race day! I know a couple of you have already signed up.

However, don't volunteer for the Expo, because we are going to need you! In a couple of weeks, I'll be asking BLBers to try and take a shift at our own Blue Line Beginners booth at the Expo, which is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Friday before the race. I'll work on getting us some printed info and displays for the table. Not only can we promote the group and hopefully generate interest (especially in joining us next spring to begin training for next year's race series), but it would be a great opportunity for the community to come out and meet the Blue Line Beginners they have been reading about this summer. More on this to come later.

-- Paula