Houston has great Volunteers!
Quite often when we hear a friend, co-worker, or relative doing a 10k, marathon, or triathlon, we immediately think about the rigorous training this person is doing to prepare for the event. We will ask questions like “when is the race?”, “how many miles is it?”, and “how are you preparing for it?”.
So when fellow members of my racing team, Team COCI, asked me if I wanted to volunteer at the Houston Bridgeland Triathlon, I did not really know how to respond since I have never volunteered at a sporting event before. I do the races, I don’t volunteer for them.
Waking up at 4:30 on a Sunday morning was not fun at all. At least I didn’t have to secure my bike on my car or make sure I drank and ate the proper nutrition before a race. I arrive at the event about 5:30 am (I’m a late volunteer as most of the volunteers arrived at 4:30) and start walking towards the check-in tent when I noticed one of the athletes struggling to carry a tent and walk his bike at the same time. I immediately offer a helping hand. So appreciative this athlete, within 5 minutes I felt I made a difference at the event. Can I go home now?
I check in and discover that my job will be to drive one of the photographers all over the course during the event in a golf cart. Hek Yeah! This had to have been the coolest volunteer gig at the event. Sitting down behind the wheel, racing that golf cart like I was in a Mario Kart game all over the course, and did I mention I got a free t-shirt and all the Gatorade I wanted?
One think I noticed driving all of the course was that it takes a lot of effort and time from volunteers to put on such an event. There were medics who were on bikes situated all along the course, there were people in various locations ready to hand out water, there were life guards in kayaks fixated on the lake to assist the swimmers if needed, there were event coordinators on-hand making sure everything ran smoothly….. hundreds of volunteers there to support and help make such an event possible.
Yes, congrats athletes who compete and finish these events. But also a BIG THANK YOU for the volunteers who give their time freely to such causes. If you’d like to volunteer for such events, check here for upcoming races.