El Agua and I got out of bed at 4:17 this morning to make sure other people had a great race. That’s what volunteering at a race is…making sure OTHER people have a great day, a great race. It’s making sure that those racers are safe and happy and not always at the same time. (See bike mount line below.)
For some reason, I was declared the person who should wield the megaphone. Yeah, ’cause my normal bossy voice isn’t loud enough.
When you tell an experienced racer that she CANNOT mount until she passes the orange line more than three times, she lets you know how unhappy she is and yet, you do it anyway, because you have a “volunteer” job to do and if those USAT officials saw her repeatedly remount her bike prematurely she WOULD have been DQ’d and that would have been worse than
someone me and other volunteers, several volunteers, instructing her to GO ACROSS THE ORANGE LINE BEFORE MOUNTING YOUR BIKE! Ah, whatever, at least she didn’t cause a pile up.
Don’t judge the hair, please. Super humidity and it was only 7 in the morning. My hair doesn’t wake up that early.
And then we moved to the finish line. The part that makes a grown man choke up. The place that EVERY racer has to pass to say they raced. Perhaps for the very first time. (The announcer said that 70 of the 600 hundred people on the course today were racing for the first time, which means they crossed the finish line for the FIRST TIME. And that, my friends, is HUGE. It made me choke up seeing some of these folks do it.)
If you’ve raced but never volunteered…might I suggest you do. Bob Dylan said it best….”you gotta serve somebody.” Bending down to grab the race chip-velcro-craziness off sweaty racers ankles (often safety pinned and DOUBLE safety pinned) over 200 times humbles you and reminds you how wonderful it is that people who don’t know you or care about your splits care enough to make sure you have a great day.
I may not have bent down for you today, but I still hope you had a wonderful day….race…or whatever this Sunday was for you.
(This post was orginally posted on GoSpeedieGo.com on June 2nd, the day of the Madeira Beach Triathlon. I was too tired to post it on this site that day. Remember when I said I was going to start posting exclusively to my website and not here? Well, it’s gonna happen soon, folks. Maybe you should head on over to GoSpeedieGo.com and sign up for your email blog posts there. Ya know, so you don’t miss anything when I get lazy and don’t get around to cutting and pasting to this site.)