Sunday, July 17, 2011

Race Volunteering is cool, most of the time...

2nd day of the Deschutes Dash; I'm offline and glad to help at an aid station. We're just past T2, which also happens to be T1.

It's that minimalist thing, I suppose.

T2 empties onto a riverside walkway awash with spectators. Ok, fine, but come on, people. Give the runners a clear path. Pretty quickly we dispatch some loud guy to get people out of the way.

Yes, my voice carries.

Most of the spectators are great. They wait until a break in the action before crossing.

Then there are the ones completely unaware of their surroundings. Like the woman parked in the middle of the sidewalk, 10 feet from the 90 degree transition exit. After yelling three times at her, including once from spitting distance, she finally turns and looks bewildered.

Then there's the guy who basically does the same thing until he realizes he's in the way. He turns and laughs. I shake my head; he says, "dude, don't look at me like that."

Dude, are you always that oblivious, or are you just an inconsiderate jackass? More of that, and I wouldn't be surprised to see triathletes lowering a shoulder and playing fullback.

The day got better. Runners are very happy when you give them something cool to drink, even if they don't say it. Anyone who has been on the other side knows what it's like.

I almost stayed perfect; literally one single drop of HEED spilled on me all day. Keys to success from Michelle, DMC Kahuna:
  • Hold the cup at the top with your palm facing down
  • Tilt the cup in the direction of travel
  • Jog a step or two while passing the juice to reduce relative speed between you and runner
Pitched a nice fit when I got 'splashed.' Everyone laughed.

A woman stopped me with a question.
Her: "What's the difference between yesterday's races and today's?"
Me: "24 hours."
She didn't appreciate that very much.

One guy (not a runner by any stretch, given the 250 pounds he carried) took a cup and splashed it in his face. Too bad he grabbed (sticky) electrolyte and not the water he really wanted.

A woman did the sprint tri dressed like she stepped out of a patchouli shop. Beaded hair, halter top, flip-flops. How do you run a 5k in flip-flops? Dunno, maybe the same way you ride a bike 12 miles in them.

A big guy with  a shirt that says, "Running Sucks."

A guy who finished the swim, jumped on his mountain bike while still in transition, then entered the run course.
Me: 'Dude, are you in the race? If so, you're going the wrong way."
Him: 'Oh s***.'

One tough athlete in the kid's tri who braved the swim course with no wetsuit. And lots of kids who did the backstroke or breaststroke the whole way. No rule against it, and a good way to get used to a bizarre activity.

The fastest kids got through transition in less than a minute. The adults are somewhat methodical in putting their gear down. Michelle noted that the kids do what they do best; namely, throw stuff everywhere and without concern. Spoken like a true parent.

A good day. Volunteering is payback. The race organizers always appreciate it. And you get a free shirt without having to sweat.

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