Monday, July 21, 2008

Volunteering...

Yesterday I volunteered at the Harbor Lights Triathlon. On the drive up to Waukegan there were all sorts of cars loaded down with bicycles so I knew I was heading the correst way. I parked in the furthest lot from the event and had to hike about 2 miles to get to the volunteer check-in. 2 miles in shoes that did nothing but make the bruising on the top of my right foot hurt even worse. And the heel rubbing against the raw spots on my ankles weren't pleasant either. I tried on different shoes but everything hurt, I just couldn't win.

Anyway, I think I was supposed to mention I was volunteering with Team in Training but when the woman asked if I was with a team, I said no. My first thought was "I'm here alone so no team". Wrong answer. But I got to hang out in the transition pit where the athletes would go from the swimming to the biking and finally the running parts. I pointed them to the bike out areas and the run out areas and checked bike numbers to bib numbers at the end of the event as they left the transition pit. I didn't get to see much of the event other than the running start and when they doubled back to pass the pit and head to the finish line just down the road from me.

It was interesting to see how even if the first swimmers returned and left on the biking portion first, they weren't always the first back for the rest of the events. First wave didn't always mean first finishers. And body type did not determine first finishers. There were so many shapes and sizes and ages of athletes! And the most fit people weren't necessarily first finishers.

There was this one man, somewhere between 60-70 yeas old, who did the entire triathlon in black swimming briefs. I heard people laughing at him as he ran out, even I smiled but for different reasons. Here was this older man wearing black briefs and more naked than any other triathlete and yet he pulled it off. And he was doing well. And doing something that the crowd, many of which laughed, were not doing. I knew I couldn't do what he was doing (oh, maybe I could but I wasn't and probably wouldn't ever). It strikes me as bad form to make fun of someone, for whatever reason, if they are doing something you are not. (Of course, it is rude to make fun of people anyway because everyone is different in one way or another. But never mind my rambling...) I was impressed by this man because of his attire and for doing something that I was only volunteering to help at.

So anyway, the volunteering was interesting and next time I will remember to mention that I am there with Team in Training.

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

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