If you read my race report for the Quassy Olympic race, you know that the Trakkers water stop at mile 1 on the run was awesome. My teammates showed incredible enthusiasm and support for everyone on the run.
On Sunday, it was my turn to volunteer. I met up with Mama Bear at the race site bright and early. She had been there since 2:30 am to set up aid stations (to avoid items being stolen late at night as happened with the Olympic race). We got in the car to head out to the aid station (with Michele, the wife of a teammate following close behind), only to realize that the male pros had gotten ahead of us. Now we had the challenge of getting around them to beat them to the aid station. Thankfully we were able to navigate around and beat them there with time to spare. Our aid station crew was awesome. Mama Bear, Michele, Jenn (Megan’s awesome friend who volunteered BOTH days), Susanna, Zach (Susanna’s boyfriend), Ryan and Emily, and Anna ( a triathlete who had volunteered to help with the aid station).
With 80s music blaring from the car stereo, we awaited the male pros. I was first in line along the road, handing out water. The rest of the crew was giving out water or Cera Sport, and Jenn made sure my stash of water was continually stocked (in between picking up empty bottles). The pros whizzed through the stop. I was amazed by how many of them took water as they went by. Having not volunteered a bike water stop before, I got a lesson from Sharpie before we started. Thankfully, I had only two muffed passes out of at least 100, and none of them were to pros.
Here is me handing off water to Amanda Lovato, one of the Team Trakkers pros. She had lost her nutrition flask, and was hoping for gels ,but all I had to offer was water.
(Awesome photos by Michele Beeson)
It was great fun to cheer everyone on, especially when we saw one of our teammates (“TRAKKERS IN THE HOUSE!!!!”). The Terrier Tri team has become our buddies, so we cheered them on as well (“Go Terrier. Woof Woof!”). It was so much fun to give encouragement to all the racers out there (especially since we were at the top of one of the worst climbs). Seeing some of the really fast Trakkers was pretty amazing, not to mention watching Crowie, Matty Reed, Mirinda Carfrae, Julie Dibens, and our Trakkers pros whiz by.
After a 3+ hours of working the water stop, I was drenched but happy. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized just how hard all that backward running was on my quads. It felt great to support my teammates and the other triathletes, and I am reminded of how nice it is when someone says a simple “Thank you.” I also learned that there are different techniques when going through a water stop- some people just go by without indicating whether they want water or not (sometimes grabbing it at the last second), others say no thank you or go by, but my favorite are the people who actually point at you as they approach and let you know they want water. It mad the handoff so much easier! All in all, a great weekend and a great time with my amazing Trakkers teammates.