Thursday, May 26, 2011
Rev3 Knoxville Volunteer Report
After being sidelined by injury for the first part of the season, my "race" plan has changed repeatedly. Last year I missed out on Rev3 Knoxville, which was the first meeting for our team. I didn't want to miss out again this year. When I realized I wouldn't be racing in May/June, the trip became more of a possibility. Even better- my teammate Laura was driving down from Connecticut, so we could travel together.
The weekend was bittersweet for me. Our dogs were sick and I had a lot of guilt about leaving. They had been declining for months, so this wasn't particularly new, but it still tore at my heart to leave them. At the same time, I knew seeing my teammates would be good for my soul, and my amazing husband never said a word about keeping it all together at home. I am so thankful for his support of this crazy tri habit (and everything that has come before).
In true Team Trakkers style, my first in-person meeting with Laura M. was as we left for our 8.5 hour drive. Thankfully, our team is full of amazing people. Laura and I got to know each other well on the drive...and while waiting for "fast" food (and coffee)on the way down. I don't think my endless rambling drove her too crazy...she has twin 5-year-olds, so she can handle me!
We were rooming with Laura W., who arrived earlier in the day. Saturday was up early for the practice swim. It was like a reunion seeing so many good friends, and meeting new teammates. Thanks to social networking, the ice had been broken months ago. My dear friend and teammate Kati and I hung out while everyone else swam. Kati was awesome to babysit for Jill's kids, and I got to hang with them for a bit during the swim. Of course Kati and I did a little goofing off, with the munchkins egging us on. All I can say is thank goodness I jump higher than her, because she definitely swims, bikes, and runs faster than me! ;)
At the expo, we checked out the Recovery Pump booth with "Recovery Pump Doug", and met Trakkers Pro Courtenay Brown at the Kestrel Booth.
On to Volunteering
I got to volunteer packet pickup with Laura M., Colleen, and Kristin. I managed to elbow, er, work my way to the pro line at registration. It was a lot of fun checking in a mix of pros and age groupers. I got to tell Julie Dibens how much I enjoy following her on twitter. Laura and I got to goof off a bit, too.
Dinner was great, with Mike, Laura, and Laura. Nothing like some good Southern BBQ. Then Laura x2 and I wandered looking to get some coffee for the next morning....no such luck. Thankfully it was there in the lobby when we woke up.
Sunday brought the Tri-Slide Pit. Team Mom Carole asked if we would help spray athletes down with Tri Slide in Transition. Hmmm.... let me think....spray down a bunch of triathletes with lube...including some very fit men...I'm in! (Of course it really wasn't quite that exciting, but tons of fun). Being the vocal one, I did lots of yelling to encourage people to come visit us. Lesson learned: don't spray 9 cans of TriSlide near the black transition mats...thankfully we fixed that problem. It was great to encourage teammates as they got ready for their races, and promote a great product.
Teammates Mike Moore and Jeff Vanis
The next stop was the finish line. I think this was seriously the coolest part of volunteering. Yes, I got to see the pros finish, but my favorite part was even neater than that. I worked at the beginning of the finish chute, making sure spectators didn't cross in front of athletes. Once the age groupers started coming in, I had the pleasure of helping kids connect with their athlete family members to run to the finish line. This is why I LOVE Rev3.
There were two incredibly inspiring moments at Rev3 Knoxville:
- The first was a wife whose husband passed away three weeks prior. They were supposed to complete the race together, and she chose to continue in his honor. She finished with several family members, and the race announcer had the crowd worked into a frenzy for her.
- The other amazing group were the Owen family. They founded an organization called Caroline Can! Caroline suffered a traumatic brain injury, and her family works to raise funds and raise awareness. Caroline and two family members completed the race as a challenged athlete relay team. The spirit of their team and all of their cheerleaders was amazing!
Laura and I had to pack up before the end of the race, but it was an awesome weekend. I am so thankful to be on a team with such amazing people. I look forward to seeing them like I look forward to catching up with an old friend. Did I mention our teammates have awesome spouses, too? (Emily, Michele, Paul.....all of the Team Trakkers family members rock!).
Knoxville was awesome. (There was even a great Farmers Market up the street from the host hotel on Saturday). The drive home, not so much fun. After sitting in traffic for 90+ minutes (literally parked for a period of it), we passed this sign.....
Laura was an awesome travel buddy (though she is a super healthy eater so I was worried about being the "bad" one). Thankfully, she has a dark chocolate habit. I knew I liked her!
Next up...Volunteering Rev3 Quassy