Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I went to a tri Sunday...as a volunteer

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.

11 comments:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

How fun!!! Thanks for being an volunteer!

Frozentriette said...

Awesome!! I hope to volunteer in the future at a race. That's really cool you did. :)

~J

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Nice job taking charge! Ken volunteered then entire time I competed at Ironman Florida. He did all sorts of things: stripped wetsuits, bussed bikes, ran for food & even served as security in the finish line area! Cool.

Kala Marie said...

Sounds like a good day to me! :)

ShirleyPerly said...

Good for you! Certainly w/o volunteers, races could not happen. Thank you for being there for the others. I miss being able to do so lately now that my workouts are so long on weekends.

Colleen said...

As someone who raced on Sunday, thank you!!! I wish I had known you were there... I would have stopped by to say hi (I picked my packet up Saturday afternoon).

Runner Tammy said...

It's very cool that you volunteered at the Tri. I am sure your words of encouragement helped many of the newbies.

My first tri I was scared witless (because I can't swim or bike well), but the volunteers were so nice and encouraging. The "seasoned" veterans definitely provided valuable insight I could try to use.

Happy Training...Tammy

Beth said...

Congratulations on giving back to the tri community. I'm always touched by the number of people who give up their day to help others acheive their goals. I'm so glad that it was fulfilling for you, too. Nice!

Trishie said...

Thanks for reminding me to email the race director of IronGirl to volunteer. sounds like it was a great experience for you :)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

I had signed up for my first sprint duathlon last year for my champagne birthday... but ended up with my first round of stress fractures 2 weeks before, so obviously it wasn't gonna happen. I contacted them, and asked to volunteer instead, which I did, in my aircast. I would have loved to be participating instead, but it was still an amazing experience, and a great way to payback/pay it forward.

chris mcpeake said...

Races wouldnt happen without all the great volunteers. Way to go

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