I got to spend the entire day yesterday volunteering at the MI Titanium. It was the first ever full distance triathlon in Michigan. What a great event that was put on for the athletes. The weather cooperated (for the most part) and the athletes were nothing less then amazing.I started the day at 0500 in the transition area helping athletes with questions and doing some body marking. I was amazed at how many people actually had to think about how old they were and how some of the females we reluctant to tell me their age- I was putting it on their legs for all to see and not just using it against them.
After all the athletes were in the water it was off to the transition tents to help the full distance athletes get out of wetsuits and off on the bike. It was very interesting to meet the many athletes. There were quite a few first timers, many this was not their first, and one gentleman I met it was his 20th. Just amazing to me to hear the different stories and see the different strategies. Some were in and out in 2 minutes, others sat and ate cans of soup and enjoyed the rest break.
Next it was out to the road to play traffic cop for the remainder of the day. I got to see a lot of the 1/2 iron distance athletes come in from the bike and all of the full distance athletes. It is amazing to see all of these athletes come in after a 56 or 112 mile bike ride and get ready to go out on either a 13.1 mile or 26.2 mile run. It was great to be one of the volunteers out there that was able to protect the athletes from the cars.
The racing was great, the athletes were amazing, and it was awesome to meet so many of my fellow champions out there on race day. It was great to see a triathlon from a different perspective other then just racing. If you ever have the chance to come out and volunteer at one of these or any race please do. The volunteers make the event happen for sure. Also, when you are out there racing do not forget to say thanks to all the volunteers that you can. Many of them are just like you- triathletes and racers alike that are giving back to their sport.
Finally– A shout out to you Ann Vidro and your team. Great race, great venue, and I know that I am amazed that you put all the time and energy in to bringing races like this to West Michigan. It is great to see our area of the state getting this exposure in such a positive light. It was amazing for a first year race and I cannot wait to be there again next year as part of your team.