Thursday, July 01, 2010

Clown Named Grandma's Top 2010 Volunteer

Not just any old clown gets named Grandma's Marathon Volunteer of the Year.

When Grandma's Marathon named John Herbertz its 2010 Volunteer of the Year, it conferred the award upon a unique and creative clown, when the longtime course entertainer received the award at the organization’s volunteer appreciation event earlier this week.

Since 1995, Herbertz (pictured, dressed as a chicken) has been stationed at mile 18, entertaining runners as they make their way past the Brighton Beach area. He has dressed up as many different characters including “The Dip In The Road”, Santa Claus, Jesse Ventura, Shrek, and a penguin with happy feet.

Possibly his most famous costume came about three years after he began volunteering, when he dressed up as “The Jolly Rancher” and handed out Jolly Ranchers to runners as they ran by. Passing out Jolly Ranchers – nearly 4,500 of them – along with jumping on a small trampoline, playing a boom box and wearing bright lime green socks have become mainstays in Herbertz’s act each year.

“I go for laughs because I know at mile 18, most runners don’t have much to laugh about," Herbertz said. "It’s definitely a hard part in the race. So, with a laugh, some music and a Jolly Rancher, we send them on their way. I have the time of my life,”

The Grandma’s Marathon Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to an individual or group of individuals who have donated a tremendous amount of time volunteering for Grandma’s Marathon and in doing so have assisted in the smooth and successful operation of the event.

Photo by Jeff Frey & Associates, courtesy of Grandma's Marathon.

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