No, instead, I was waking up at 4 a.m. to volunteer at the I Love the Tavern Triathlon - my first race volunteering experience. (Well, other then the Penn Relays - I used to work in media relations for that event.) I always wanted to volunteer, but it never seemed to work out. Either training got in the way. Or racing. Or J's work schedule. Or an inability to convince J that it would be fun to hang solo with the girls all day.
But, finally, the stars aligned. And it was awesome. I would highly recommend that if you've ever raced or even considered racing, that you volunteer to work an event. It will make you appreciate all the hard work that goes into your "race experience."
Personally, I learned more than just that though. Like ...
- G and I can have fun no matter what time it is.
- "Body Marking" does not suck. Triathletes are some fit individuals.
- I have really good handwriting. If you need well-written numbers on your arms, I'm your woman.
- I have serious bike envy.
- You can never have enough volunteers. If nothing else, they can stand and cheer for every athlete. Especially the ones who left their posse at home on race morning.
- Be prepared to give up your sneakers. Elusive Dave (volunteer coordinator extraordinaire for Richmond Multisports) handed his over to a racer who couldn't find his when it was time for the run.
- G and I make "red shirts" look good.
- Standing in one spot for three hours and cheering for every last racer is the perfect opportunity for calf raises and other various isometric exercises.
- A good leader makes all the difference.
- The part of the triathlon that makes me cringe the most is the barefoot run from the swim to transition.
- I can do things I never thought possible. Like lift my arm over my head.
- Some people are way more body confident than I.
- Some guys shave more of their body than I do.
- People have a fascination with my socks. A dozen people must have asked me about them.
- I now know what outfits "work" and "don't work" while racing.
- Seeing someone crash their bike, takes me back to the very instant when I crashed mine.
- Working the race gets you "insider information," such as race dates for new 70.3 races in Richmond (may have found my 2012 70.3 goal race. Just saying.)
- Some people volunteer only for the food.
- Little kids cheering for their parents, or running with them through the finish chute, will always make me cry.
- I want 70.3 bad.
Be sure to enter my NYC Marathon Raffle HERE. There are still 15 prizes to be won and the next three winners will be selected on Friday.