Thursday, May 23, 2013

On the Other Side

By: Dana

Bib... Check... Shoes... Check... Fuel... Check.. Sound familiar? Race day morning you are mostly thinking through all you need for race time. But do you ever stop and think who's getting the timing chips ready, water stations, aid stations, post race food ready, medals? The list goes on and on. 

Sunday morning I had the privilege of volunteering for Start 2 Finish at the Memphis in May Triathlon. I knew this was not an event I was trained to participate in but wanted to be able to support the racers out there. I, for one, really have never stopped to think about what all it takes to put on the events that we love to participate in.
I am always so thankful for the water stations and the crowd out there cheering but I have never put much thought into the fact that the majority of what goes on behind the scenes is done by volunteers; people giving of their time with nothing in return. Ok maybe a volunteer tee and some free food, but that's not why people volunteer to help out on race day. 

They are out there because they love runners, they love the racing community. They have servant's hearts and want to give back. Goodness aren't we thankful, because what would we do without that water at mile 18? Or that post race chocolate milk? 

Volunteering is not something I've ever done at a race, I've always been a participant. But now having been on the other side, I have a whole new respect for race directors. They work hard, very hard, as do the hundreds of volunteers out there making your day happen! It may take some of your free time that you could be doing a hundred other things but the people you will meet, the smiles you share, and thank yous you get make it all worth it! The racing community is amazing...Incredible people and athletes. Get out there and give back. You'll be glad you did! 

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