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Volunteer Spotlight: Crystal Dortsch

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

We make this claim every year, on our website, on social media, and to pretty much anyone who asks - Volunteers are the lifeblood of our race!

To bring attention to these very important people, we are adding a new "Volunteer Spotlight" feature to our newsletters and blogs, starting with someone who encounters nearly every person who does our Marathon or 1/2 Marathon - Crystal Dortch, T-Shirt Distribution Captain! Please read the Q&A below and learn a bit more about this great volunteer!

Name: Crystal Dortch

City: Columbus, Buckeye born and raised!

Job: Education Program Specialist with the Department of Education

Family & Pets: Married for 11 years to Justin Dortch; three cats - Freddie, Wolverine, and Jinx

Volunteer history/background with the Columbus Marathon: The 2006 Columbus Marathon was my first ever full marathon. It was such a great experience that I had to find a way to get involved in bringing that kind of fun and excitement to others. So, when I moved back from Colorado in 2012, I signed up to hand out t-shirts. Within a couple weeks of signing up, I received an email asking if I was interested in being the captain. I have never shied away from responsibility, so I jumped at the opportunity and have been serving as the T-Shirt Distribution Captain ever since!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with the event? The stories! Over the past 10 years of volunteering, I have heard some of the most amazing personal stories - from training to traveling, overcoming injury, raising money and awareness, first timers, hearing friends give pep talks, and the general excitement of everyone at the expo.

Do you have any funny stories from your time as a volunteer? It's not really a funny story, but I have made the conscious decision to wear a neon green/yellow long sleeve quarter zip every year as a way for people to easily identify me. The year the marathon celebrated its 40th year, I wore the black 40th anniversary quarter zip and people panicked because I wasn't as visible.

Why should others volunteer with the Columbus Marathon? Columbus is a beautiful city, it's a fast and flat course, and the staff work tirelessly to ensure it's safe, entertaining and worthwhile. Volunteering is a great way for individuals to support Columbus events, Nationwide Children's Hospital, local vendors, and share in the excitement and energy of thousands of athletes, Children's Champions, and their biggest supporters.

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