Friday, September 14, 2012

Rev3: Volunteer Report

Rev3 is a half and full triathlon hosted at Cedar Point.  I had lots of friends competing in either the half or the full, and I just thought it would be a fun weekend to go out and support them.  If I am going out to cheer, I might as well volunteer!

On a whim, I reached out to someone with whom I went to high school, and she offered to let me stay with her on Saturday before the race.  I thought she was doing the full, but she was just doing the half, feeling a bit burnt out after rocking out Ironman Lake Placid in July.  My friend John was doing the half and staying Sunday night, and he said I could stay with him that evening. 

I wish I could say that Saturday was a smooth day, but it was anything but.  Everything took a little longer than it should, and what I thought was plenty of time to get everything done, ended up not being enough.  End that with some personal frustrations with people and forgetting toothpaste, and I ended up unloading on a friend who was in the wrong hotel lobby at the wrong time, and I appreciate his willingness to listen to me despite facing a big race the next morning.

It was cool catching up with Chantell.  She was a senior when I was a freshman, so we didn’t know each other that well, but we threw together, although she was a very strong shot putter, and I was a pretty good discus thrower so there was no sense of rivalry.  She also knew way more about was going on in high school, and it just reaffirmed what a naïve twit I was back then.

I woke up Sunday morning at 5:30 to go for a run before volunteering.  I was hoping for 10 miles, but the more I ran, the more I thought about how much of the day was going to be on my feet and how anything over 6 would probably be good.  I had to stop to go to the bathroom, but for once, my stomach wasn’t having many problems with the idea of running.  I opted to run from our hotel to Cedar Point via the Causeway and then around Perimeter Road to Hotel Breakers.  I thought that with all the traffic it would be rather safe…ahh, not the case.  Let’s say that my ankle is still a little sore from the multiple jumps out of a speeding car’s way.  I guess some people don’t do mornings.  The last two miles back on the causeway were nice as the course was already closed off, and I was free from the near death experiences that plagued the last 4ish miles of my run.  I did stop and take some photos of the sunrise, realizing it was going to be a beautiful day!

I got back to the hotel right around 7 and gave a mental well-wish to my friends starting the full length triathlon (same as an Ironman, just a different name).  I had my breakfast, watched some television, packed a mini-supply bag and headed up to my volunteer post a bit early.

I was excited to see some CTC people as I walked towards transition!  Janet and Tiffany both looked ready to rock the bike course!

I was scheduled to work in transition from 9:30 to 2:30, but I ended up working from 9 to 2:17ish.  At first, I helped in the changing tent, and I also helped re-rack people’s bike bags.  After that job was basically finished, I helped to keep unauthorized people out of transition and making sure people didn’t randomly walk in front of the athletes heading into the transition area.  It was during this time that I saw a lady trying to get to peel banana, but as she finished peeling it, it slipped out of her hands.  Thinking about how crucial the potassium is in a banana, I ran to the aid station table, grabbed a banana and ran after her to give it to her.  She appreciated it, and I felt like I had done my good deed for the day.

After about 10:15, we closed down the “swim in” chute and rolled up the carpet and pulled it to the side.  In case you were wondering, a long carpet soaked in water and wet sand is shockingly heavy. 

I did have some kid ask me if I had ever done a full.  I told him that yes, I had done two, so like any kid, he asked, “so why aren’t you doing this one?”  “Ahhh…I didn’t want to” was all I could muster.

After about 10:30, I spent the next four hours at the dismount line.  My job was to point at the line and tell the incoming cyclists to dismount their bikes before reaching that line.  I probably had a half hour before the job really started, and I enjoyed talking to a CTC newbie Krystal and fellow CTC member Tim (who was one of the guys in charge of the volunteers in transition). 

I would say that this spot was pretty exciting.  It was very cool watching all the experienced triathletes do their flying dismounts, talk about impressive.  By the time they got to me, they had their feet out of their shoes, and their body on one side of their bikes.  Krystal was awesome as she kept me company, and we also enjoyed talking to a couple of older ladies.  At one point, I overheard one of these ladies say something, “oh that was nice.”  I looked over and asked, “are you two enjoying the view?”  To which one of them responded, “Oh yes!  We may be old, but we’re not dead!”  How awesome!  Looking at some very good looking men is definitely one of the perks of triathlon.

Aside from Krystal, there were several people from team Spin/Second Sole, and it was cool talking to them for a little bit.  It was during that time, that I looked down the road, and about 20 feet away, a little girl had meandered in front of some oncoming cyclists.  Good thing I wore my running shoes!  I ran down and swooped the girl out of the oncoming cyclists’ path.  As I came back to man my dismount line, I had all the spectators start to applaud me…it was a little embarrassing.  The older ladies kept telling people that “I had saved that little girl’s life.”  I don’t think that is as much, but I might have prevented a cyclist from crashing and potentially hitting the little girl.

The other good thing about working the dismount line was that I got to see pretty much everyone I knew doing the half.  Some were really excited to see me, others (Eric Gibb) were so focused that there could have been half naked stripers, and he wouldn’t have noticed =)

At one point, Krystal and some other CTC people went and got food and offered to bring back some food.  I was hungry, but I had food waiting for me in my bag so declined the offer.  I did ask for Diet Pepsi, which they brought, and which did help.  Krystal did buy herself some sweet potato fries and was unable to eat them all.  Every one and a while I took a fry as she just had them hanging in front of me.  After a little while, they were all gone, thanks Krystal!

Around 1pm, it was starting to get slow.  Most of the people doing the half were either running or finished, and the full racers were not quite finished with the bike course.  I had several friends doing the full, and I expected to see about four of them before I finished volunteering.  The first person I expected to see was Ken, who had told me he expected to be back to transition at 1:30.  Sure enough, at 1:28, there he was!  After Ken, I got to see Eddie, Janet and Brandon. 

Around 2pm, I was exhausted and wanted some real food!  I also wanted to meet up with Durno and go cheer for people on the run course.  Krystal and I walked over to the finish line just in time to hear them announce my friend Mack’s name.  I saw Gibb and Brad and talked to them about what awesome races they both had, but was really on the hunt for Durno.  After about 20 minutes, I found him, and we made our way to the watering hole on the run course. 

On our way, we animatedly cheered for all the people we saw on the run course.  When we got there, Tim had drinks waiting for us (although he had to leave by the time we got there), thanks Tim!

After a very odd conversation with a man at the bar in a Harley shirt, I remember very little, but here are the highlights:

-They had a medal fence around the patio without a door.  I kept climbing up and over that fence eveytime I saw someone I knew.  I would have to say that the tally reached double digits.  I managed to sit on the one ince top for quite some time.  My balance was apparently steller that day!

-I had dropped my chapstick pretty early in the afternoon, and anyone who knows me knows that I am likely freaking out about that…fortunately, Eddie gave me one he found in his stuff.

-Janet came off the bike in 2nd about 6ish minutes back from the 1st overall female.  Slowly but surely, she made up that time and won the overall women’s amateur race.  I always thought that Janet was just naturally gifted until I did a workout with her last year.  Not only is she talented, but She works REALLY hard!  I have nothing but props for this awesome accomplishment!

-At one point, I looked in my bag and found 2 Rev3 visors, no clue, absolutely no recollection of receiving them.

-I recall seeing Ken at mile 19, and he had on his game face.  Despite some very drunken antics, he would not be broken!  Great race Ken, it was awesome see you rock this course!  When we saw him in the parking lot later, he looked more human, but still a little low on energy.

-I do recall winning a pair of running shoes.  I have no clue if they are any good, but they were free!

-Eric tried to get the announcers to play our HTC theme song (Das Racist anyone?), but I don’t think they had it.  To be fair, even iTunes doesn’t have it!

-I ate a ton of pizza and Eddie’s cookies at the finish line, but I wasn’t hung over in the morning so maybe that is the perfect meal!

-Oh, near the end, someone slapped me in the face.  It was black out kind of pain, but Joe (Janet’s husband) assured me that my nose wasn’t broken.  Four days later, it still hurts!
            -According to J. Mack, I reached a level of intoxication he didn’t know possible for me. 
Having seen me get smashed in ’09 after losing a bet at the Columbus Marathon, he thought he had seen me at my drunkest.  He said that it wasn’t even close.

-CTC had an impressive day at Rev3

-I will probably not drink again anytime soon.  The only time in my life do I recall honestly drinking more than I did at this race was the infamous party bus in Santo Domingo back in 2003. 

1 comment:

  1. There were half naked strippers at the dismount line. DAMN. I miss everything.