So the day before I was leaving on a week long camping trip, I got up at the crack of dawn….um 4am-something. I somehow also forced my friend, Kelly, to get up with me.
I (We) had volunteered to help out/volunteer at the iTRYathlon Women’s and Youth Triathlon. There are always a ton of races and events that I want to do, but I never have enough time. I figured that it was about time that I pay it forward and volunteer at a race.
Kelly and I were in the transition areas for the triathlon. She monitored the area where the runners were coming in, and I monitored the bike area. I helped manage the athletes get on their bikes, and also when they came in from the bike ride.
Before the race even started, I helped wrangle the athletes and parents in the bike set-up area with Kelly and other volunteers.
It took a lot of work and even some strong words with people to get everyone situated. Athletes and runners, be nice to the volunteers cause they put up with a lot of flack from people. We (They) just want to make sure everyone is safe, and the race flows smoothly.
It was a little cold that morning while we were helping prep before the race. Kelly had my jacket on under her shirt along with a blanket that I keep in the back of my car. She was a trooper pouring the water, even while she was shivering from the cold.
The racks looked a little chaotic before everyone even started. Many if not most of the athletes are first time triathletes. So I assisted people with setting up their bike and gear while I was working in the bike transition.
This was my staging area during the race, the bike transition. I took the photo post-race but it pretty much looked like this during the race. Just imagine several volunteers in bright yellow t-shirts assisting the athletes.
I had a great spot during the race, and I was able to see many of my friends at the beginning and/or end of their transition.
Check out Heather, first-time triathlete, heading towards T1 with her bike. What a rockstar!
Margot who was also a first time triathlete going through T2 (Transition 2), and getting ready to head into the swimming pool.
Sheila who might just be a little crazy was also doing the race. I caught her at several points during the race but this was my favorite photo of her. Why do I say that she’s crazy? Well not only was she doing the triathlon but all three of her son’s were also participating in the events! One of her sons, along with Sheila placed 2nd in their age divisions! How awesome is that?
Kelly and I were able to get a photo together at the end of the race. We were both VERY exhausted plus we were starving. We survived though.
Volunteering at a race is a ton of work, but also a ton of fun! I was able to take some pictures of my athlete friends and kids while I was standing at my post. These were pictures that they might not otherwise get/take. When I got home, I sent all of the pictures out via email.
While I was volunteering, I got yelled at a lot, but I also yelled back. I like to call this “information and instructional” yelling. When the kid’s triathlon was ending, I was moved toward the end of T2 where the parents were standing to cheer on their kids. It got a bit crowded and the parents overflowed into the roadway, cause a bit of chaos for the kids riding their bikes. I politely told everyone to get back on the sidewalk area. I might have had to get a little loud and forceful with the crowd during this time, but they did COMPLY, so something worked.
I honestly recommend volunteering and would do it again! But like I said, standing around in the heat all day causes exhaustion. And hunger, very bad hunger, which is almost similar to runger…which is hunger from running.
I’m not sure if I’m ready to do a triathlon yet. I’m not the best swimmer and my biking well….needs some assistance. So I think I will stick with the running thing for awhile…
A special thanks to Renegade Racing for letting me have this opportunity!
Have you volunteered at a race or athletic event before? Would you do it again? Have you ever done a triathlon?