Thursday, June 9, 2011

My debut as a Triathlete...


No way I'm getting in a lake.  Uh no. 

but the call came out for volunteers needed at the Issaquah Sprint Triathlon as is a title sponsor.  I was free and looking forward to helping out especially since the day was supposed to be a spectacular 70 degrees.  Yay for NOT standing around in rain at dawn. 

I woke up late.  Oops.  But in record time, I was over to Lake Sammamish Park for volunteer check in only a few minutes late.  I quickly found other friends who were volunteering and just hung out.  We were all working the transition area and it was quite entertaining to watch all the athletes setting up their transition area. 

I could feel the nervous energy.  I did know quite a few people who were competing though so it was fun to say hello to them and wish them well and snicker silently about the obvious race jitters. Hey, we've all been there and it's good!  

Someone who seemed to be associated with the race came over to tell us what we'd be doing.  Basically I'd be standing at the "bike out" portion of the transition area and yelling at people to run/walk their bike over the chip mat and then mount their bikes over by a sign.  It was important that people didn't get on their bikes until they were closer to the sign (it was an area about 30 feet long) because otherwise people could bunch up too much.  Uh hunh.  Ok.  This seemed to make sense. 

The duathlon started (bike/run) and it was fun to see the wide variety of abilities and bikes.  Soon enough the first sprint triathletes came in and it was amazing to see them in and out so quickly.  And the instructions I'd been given made a lot more sense especially since I watched many athletes struggle to get going on their bikes.  A couple fell over and one guy who was very quick out of the water, REALLY struggled to get clipped in.  More practice or an equipment issue?  Who knows.  

There was a steady stream and I got to cheer for various friends as well.  It was fun clapping and cheering and yelling at people "mount at the sign!" Because if you did not yell this, people would stop immediately after the chip mat and block others coming through.  Another volunteer helped me realize that the athletes needed their helmets on too!  One guy forgot his and had to go running back for it.  I caught a few who had it on but not buckled and they had a surprised look as I pointed it out.  Oh yeah!  There are a lot of details to remember in a triathlon.

I could see the athletes coming back on their bikes and soon got pulled over to that area to yell at the athletes to slow down and get ready to dismount.  They were so focused and the dismount area was hard to distinguish so you really had to get their attention.  Basically volunteering at a triathlon is a lot of yelling.  Ha!  And everyone is thankful.  Nice. 

I'm really glad I got to do this.  it was fun and it's nice to give back.  And I reiterated to myself that I really have no interest in triathlons.  I love swimming but not here in the Pacific NW and I don't have time for it.  Biking is great fun and I've been doing a lot of it but seeing the biking skills demonstrated on the course just makes me nervous!  And there are so many rules and so much equipment.  I really admire those who do these but it's not for me and it's good to remember that. 

1 comment:

Max said...

I'm totally with you on this, Andria! I kept toying with the idea of doing a tri over the last few years, but have concluded that I'm a land animal. I like your idea of volunteering at the events, though; I should get into that more. Thanks for the idea.