Sunday, August 2, 2009

Calgary 70.3 – A Spectator’s Perspective

This weekend I volunteered at the inaugural Calgary 70.3 race.  A few folks have asked why I didn’t race this one.  I had actually already picked out the Lake Stevens 70.3 for my A race before they announced the Calgary one.  Lake Stevens fit in well with a possible vacation, culminating in volunteering at Ironman Canada on August 30.  Plus, if you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know I love to travel for my races!

But that didn’t mean I wasn’t interested in being involved in the race somehow.  I volunteered at the expo on Friday evening.  I checked timing chips, making sure that the info for the chip corresponded to the correct athlete and all of the correct information was in the computer.  It was so much fun!  I got to see a bunch of athletes come through (including a few pros).  I also got to chat with the reps from the timing company and learn a few interesting tid bits about timing at races. 

We got some very cool shirts for volunteering:DSCN0491 Race day I was volunteering at the finish line.  This was definitely a cool place to be!  The way the course was set up we were able to see the runners three times along the course.  When I parked my car everyone was still on the bike.  Shortly after arriving the first place male was in and out on the run – Tim O’Donnell.  I managed to grab a couple of pictures of the first few pros running by before my camera battery went kaput.  Darn it! 

Tim had a huge lead on everyone in the race, and it was pretty well the same story for Mirinda Carfrae for the women.  She was so strong and totally rocked the race!

I wound up pulling finish line banner duty.  How awesome!!  Wouldn’t you know it, I was holding the banner for Mirinda as she crossed the finish line!!  Total highlight of my day.  This was one interesting place to be.  You saw all kinds out there:
- The super elated and happy.
- The ones who really struggled to the finish line (including one guy who barfed going down the finisher’s chute, then stopped and almost fell over as soon as he hit the timing mat.
- One guy who obviously had a major wipe-out on the bike.  Blood all over his legs, a banged up lip.  We were pretty amazed that he finished the race.  He crossed the line and was then hauled off to medical right away.
- People that try a fancy manoeuvre across the finish line – like a cartwheel.  I wasn’t sure what he was doing and thought he was going to fall over.  A couple guys did a big heel kick over the finish line though.  That was cool!
- The guys who just didn’t want to get chicked…

Other highlights included Lisa Bentley coming around later in the race to offer all of the volunteers pieces of watermelon or peaches…seeing all of my friends racing…relaying the news to Angie…hearing some of my friends get roll down spots for Clearwater (which no one took).

It was a hot day out there!  It was rough just standing around.  I can’t even imagine racing.  Congratulations to everyone out there!

Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment!

T2 – the calm before the storm!  The finisher’s medals (a belt buckle) and the finisher’s shirts.  And the finish line!DSCN0492DSCN0494DSCN0493DSCN0495
Tim O’Donnell leading on the run.DSCN0514
Jamie Whyte, the third place male.DSCN0498 
Kirk Nelson, the fourth place male.
Mirinda Carfrae, zooming past!
Magali Tisseyre, the second place female. DSCN0509
Lisa Mensink, the fourth place female.DSCN0510


i am Susan said...

Yes...One day we will meet. Thanks for volunteering. It was a tough day (run) for me, but I survived it:) Good luck on your upcoming race.

NJ said...

That's awesome. I'm a bit jealous of the volunteer tshirt...mine from Lifetime wasn't so great.

The perspective as a volunteer is so different from the one you get racing. Glad to hear you had so much fun.

I'm watching the IronGirl coverage out of Georgia (recorded earlier)and am very impressed with Carfrae. She is so strong on the run! Very inspirational pro.

Nancy D said...

What a fun way to experience the race! I may just "watch" my friends (and hubby) at Lake Stevens but volunteering would make it more fun than standing around...waiting..

TNTcoach Ken said...

Nice, all events need volunteers. How did you get the banner job, you must know someone.........

Anonymous said...

Very cool!! I think it is great the you volunteer. Plus, I am sure it gets you pupmed for your races.

lindsay said...

very cool volunteering opportunity! usually i imagine getting stuck with a less-glamorous position like emptying trash cans :) it's good to volunteer every now and then to kind of 'give back' for all the support we get during the races we run!

joyRuN said...

You got awesome volunteer spots! Looks like it was a lot of fun, & definitely inspirational.

Susi said...

the photos turned out great!! what a long day out there eh? i had fun catching everyone...managed not to catch the puker. eep. great job with the banner - you guys were pros out there!

Keith said...

That might have been you holding the finish line tape. Sorry I didn't say hi. Was thinking of other things. Like keeping my feet moving.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Amazing experience I bet! Lisa Bentley was supposed to come to one of our swim practices, but couldn't :( Oh well, would have been neat to meet her though!!

Wes said...

That's pretty awesome. Mirinda is just a spectacular athlete. Lurve her... Also lurve you giving back to our community.

aron said...

i loooove spectating!!! it gets you all pumped and excited plus just gives you a different perspective :)

Marci said...

That sounds sooo amazing! Its the volunteers that make the races go!

Marlene said...

Sounds like an incredible experience! Do you think you'll race it next year? Pretty cool have a half-IM so close to home for you.

I love that the medals are belt buckles!

mc said...

You were probably holding the banner for my husband? Didn't you notice him? Dark skin, handsome? :-)
Thanks to you and to all the volunteers. (I'd love to volunteer sometime).