A friend of mine on Beginner Triathlete volunteered at a tri last year and she inspired me to consider doing the same.
So, I picked a tri that was early-on in the season that I knew there would be no way I'd race because the water would be cold, contacted the racing company and signed-up.
It was the Deer Creek Tri and Du and it's the same course where my half iron distance race will be in September, so I thought it couldn't hurt to visit the site again.
I was there at 6:00 a.m. and the volunteer coordinator put me in charge - with two other ladies - of registration. I thought they might have more seasoned volunteers run that part, but after taking care of the first person, I realized it was a piece of cake...and I had a blast doing it!
I loved greeting sleepy-headed people with a warm smile and a hello, and wishing them the best as I handed them their race packets. I especially loved seeing the excitement in a participant's face when they would tell me this was their first race - and I loved giving them some extra encouragement as I pointed to where they'd get their timing chip and body markings.
The lines were really long and it took us exactly two hours to get everyone signed-in. However, there were approximately 500 participants and we actually spent about 30 seconds with each person, so I thought it went very fast.
After that, we started setting up the post-race food tables and I pretty much helped to manage that until noon when we were dismissed. It was great talking with folks about how they thought their race went, and to just talk about tris in general without the stress of having just raced myself.
I always thank the volunteers, especially on the course. However, as a volunteer, you're so busy you forget that there will be folks who will stop and thank you, so that was always a pleasant surprise when someone did.
It ended-up being a very fun day and - if I wasn't busy racing these events - I would be volunteering instead.