INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- All week long, we’re highlighting Hoosiers who pay it forward in our community. Today, we’ll meet a man who’s known for being one of the most recognizable volunteers during 500 Festival events.
Richard Clapp is always making conversation and he's always on the move. 500 Festival representatives say he's a staple at their events and has been volunteering with the non profit for 15 years now.
Clapp helps out with various events, like 500 Festival Mini Marathon.
"For the training runs, I'm usually a course marshal and I’m at some location around the course to make sure they make a correct turn," Clapp said.
"I encourage the runners, I just tell them, you guys are all winners," Clapp said.
As a former runner himself, Clapp knows how much that motivation means.
"I’ve had marathon experience and long distance experience, so I know where they’re coming from," he said.
Many of the runners appreciate Clapp so much -- they stop to snap a photo.
"They say, well, we’ve seen ya so many times, we want to get a selfie," Clapp said.
One of the runners whose become a big Richard Clapp fan is Danielle Shively.
"Him and I have a selfie together, which is fun. He’s telling us how many miles we have left to go, saying you’re almost there, keep pushing," Shively said.
"He’s kind of like my power button at every race. I see him, I make eye contact with him and he knows I’m coming in to give him that high five,” Shively said.
As a volunteer herself, Shively admires Clapp's giving spirit.
"Just being able to see Richard out there, doing what he’s doing -- I love it, I think it’s great. There’s no question in my mind that I’ll be a 500 Festival lifer," Shively said.
"Seeing all these people go by and encouraging them, it’s an exciting thing to do," Clapp said.
For more information on ways to volunteer for 500 Festival events, click here.