Happy Friday, I hope you have had a great week! I can’t believe it is Labor Day Weekend already…the Summer just flew by. My kids headed back to school this past week marking the end of our relaxed schedule. As I prepared them for their first day, we reflected on some of their favorite things we did over Summer vacation. On top of the list was going to Lake Placid and volunteering at the Ironman Race. If you follow my blog, you already know that I was supposed to compete, but had to drop out due to injury and personal reasons, which you can read about <HERE>. I have to admit that I was disappointed, but volunteering at the race with my family was incredibly rewarding and gave me a brand new perspective on the race itself. So I am dedicating this week’s Friday Five to my top 5 reasons to be a race day volunteer.
5 Reasons to be a Race Day Volunteer
1. Early Entry to the Race: One benefit of volunteering at a race is that some of events will give priority registration for the next year’s race to those that volunteered the current year. This is a huge benefit for many of the Ironman races that sell out very quickly. The day after the race, I was sent an early entry link and was able to register for Ironman Lake Placid 2018. I contemplated registering, but I did, so I am committed for next year!
2. Freebies: Race day volunteers often get some pretty fun “freebies” for their support. At the Ironman event, we all got free t-shirts, food, and drinks. Then, the best part was attending the Volunteer’s Banquet the day after the race. The banquet was held in the 1932 Olympic Ice Skating Arena where my kids enjoyed an hour of free skating followed by a delicious dinner! There were also more awesome “freebies” given out! They had huge boxes of merchandise from the prior year’s event that we got to pick out items to take home. My kids and I got t-shirts, visors, and other souvenirs.
3. Family Fun: Volunteering is a great way to get your entire family involved in a race! My kids and husband came along with me and the four of us volunteered at run aid station #2. We handed out drinks and food to the athletes as they headed out on the run course around mile 2, then saw them again as they made their way back into town at mile 11. It was a rewarding experience for all of us as we helped these athletes to make their way along the course. My family also gained a new appreciation for the sport I love as they saw first hand the struggles of tackling such a difficult event. They plan to all volunteer again in 2018 while I do the race.
4. Motivation: Are you looking for a little motivation to help you with training for a race? Try volunteering for your goal race the year before. Watching the athletes on the run course was incredibly motivating for me and my family! It was amazing to see the strength and determination of all the athletes participating in the event.
5. Inspiration: As someone who participates in many races, it was incredibly inspiring to be on the other side as a volunteer. I met a number of different people that day and at the volunteer banquet that competed and completed the 140.6 mile course. There were so many amazing stories of true grit from some of these athletes. One person I met at the volunteer banquet was Derek Fitzgerald. He is the only cancer survivor and heart transplant recipient to have ever completed an Ironman Triathlon. His story is truly amazing and you can watch it here:
So Tell Me…
Have you ever volunteered at a race? Did you enjoy it? If you have not volunteered, are you going to in the future?
Thank you so much for stopping by! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a Great Weekend!!