Former long-distance runner and Olympian Steve Brace - who ran in the 1992 and 1996 summer Olympics - believes volunteers are the bedrock for everything Run 4 Wales achieves.
It is these volunteers who give their hard work and time to allow this charitable organisation to continue its good work promoting physical activity for all.
Brace, now head of Run 4 Wales, won the 1989 and 1990 Paris Marathon and before also leading them home in the 1991 Berlin Marathon.
He knows what it takes to run in all types of organised events and stresses the importance of the role volunteers play in helping Run 4 Wales successfully manage the Cardiff Marathon, the Porthcawl 10K and the Cardiff Bay 10 K.
This month has seen Volunteers’ Week – a chance to spotlight and promote the work done by millions of volunteers in so many different fields across the UK.
Run 4 Wales, set up in 2012, is a not-for-profit charitable foundation that invests into grassroots sport and community projects.
They have done a remarkable job in building such a large operation in Wales, but it is their volunteers – known as the Extra Milers - who ensure that the big events run smoothly.
“Run for Wales celebrated its 10th anniversary recently, and volunteering is at its core,” says Brace.
“Over the years, we have built up a portfolio of events along the south Wales coast, so we have built up a loyal group of volunteers.
“For instance, 2016 was a crucial year when we had the World Half Marathon in town. It was such a big event that we couldn’t have run it without volunteers; there’s so much work that goes into shutting down the city and ensuring the day runs as smoothly as possible.
“There was so much to do and so we have a variety of jobs such as marshalling, the team at the start line, people giving out water, our ‘gurus’, a team of cyclists at the front to make sure the day runs smoothly. It’s like a military style operation.”
Brace believes these volunteers set the culture and the tone of the organisation and have shifted this culture over the years, making sure the races are enjoyed by everyone.
“They play a crucial role. The volunteers are the interface between the public and the event.
“People keep coming back in all sorts of weathers and their dedication is crucial for us as, without them, there wouldn’t be any event.
“I’ve come from the performance perspective and it’s these big names that create a prestige for the event, but it’s also the local running clubs and communities that do so much to ensure all the people participating and the public have the best time possible.”