KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The USA Cycling Championships run on muscle power, water and more volunteer effort. Volunteers will almost be as busy as the racers for the next several days.

“I can feel the wind coming off the bikes going by so it’s just a really unique experience,” volunteer Jill Green said.

“It’s an honor for Knoxville to be hosting this for the fifth year in a row,” volunteer Lindsay Hammill said. “So come watch, at the very least.”

This is Hammill’s second year as a volunteer at the USA Cycling Championships. All volunteers serve as course marshals.

She said, “Lined up along the whole race and so we’re just really crowd control and making sure the athletes have a clear angle to the road. And making sure that kids aren’t running across or there’s not a piece of trash in the road.”

“First-time volunteer,” Kumi Alderman said. “But I would like to invite everyone to make it a successful event together.”

“The course marshals who for this event, cycling, are truly the gatekeepers of the events and the course,” Visit Knoxville Senior Manager of Convention Services, Hannah Fuller, said. “Without them, a crash could happen a lot more easily.”

Volunteers are covering about 250 shifts during the cycling events and the course through town is shorter this year.

“Which means the cyclists will be doing more laps,” Fuller said. “But it’s definitely more important to have the volunteers just to make sure they can complete those because it is a little bit more stressful to have the back end of the race so much closer to the front end of the race.”

“You can feel that competitive edge and excitement just like watching a ball game,” Green said. “And you kind of pick favorites as you go along whether you know anything about racing or not. You get involved.”

Like most events, it wasn’t as easy as riding a bike to find volunteers but they are making do.

Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas said, “We have this race for another year, so we are also excited to really get this message out there so people start planning for next year.”