Last weekend I got to volunteer at another local race. The Hub Cities Duathlon is in it’s fourth year and I have competed each of the previous three years. I was really disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to participate this year because I love the idea of ‘streaking’ and participating in an event every year from its inception. Since I couldn’t participate, the only way to keep the streak alive was to volunteer!
And I had a blast! Because it is a local race, I knew a lot of people who were participating. From my volunteer positions, I was able to get a lot of pictures and cheer for a ton of people. Naturally, I brought my cow bell. People love the cowbell.
The race consists of two 2-mile runs with a 14 mile bike ride sandwiched in between. I was stationed on each of the run courses. The first run, I was about a half mile from the end. It was great to see the leaders and be amazed at how incredibly fast they were. There were three waves of start times, about 2 minutes apart, so there wasn’t too much of a time difference between the leaders and the last run/walkers to come through. That gave me plenty of time to get to my second run station.
I almost missed seeing the winner come through the second run. He was so speedy! He finished the course in one hour and eleven seconds. He was almost 3 minutes ahead of the second place finisher. At my second station, I was able to see the runners twice, since they were heading into an out-and-back section of the course. On the ‘out’ I would let them know that they were heading straight onto a trail section. On the ‘back’ I would encourage them to push hard because the finish was only a few more blocks.
It was great seeing the different athletes. Some looked so relaxed and focused. Others really seemed to be struggling. I can certainly understand their struggles. While it is a relatively short course, the bike section does have a couple hills. And the weather was quite warm and very humid.
The organizers were great about getting information out to the volunteers. I wasn’t able to attend the info session on the evening before the race, and they emailed me all the things I needed to know. I showed up the morning of the event, they gave me my T-shirt and a map with my volunteer stations on it. They invited me to come back after the event and join in the party and eat the food. I didn’t because I had to get home.
I had a blast volunteering. I have enjoyed seeing things from a different perspective this year. I have always appreciated the volunteers at all the events I have participated in and now that I have been on that end of things, I appreciate them even more.
But I still hope I can participate next year.