Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekend Update: Omaha Triathlon 2010

Sunday morning I got up at 4:00 am...and was out the door by 4:15.

Why in the world would I do that?

I was signed up to help at the Omaha Triathlon, and the meeting was at 5:00.

I arrived at the volunteer, was handed my shirt and told where to go....but not what to do.

Being this was the inaugural event, there were bound to be little hang ups here and there. The one that was glaring to me, was the number of volunteers.

There were allot.

Allot of them standing around doing nothing, because no one told them what to do, even when asked. "Go over there and see if anyone needs help" was the primary answer. Funny enough, those of us they were asking didn't know either. I mean, if you want me to stand there and look official, I can do that. If you want me to stand there and answer questions from athletes, I'm your gal. If you want me to point people in the right direction, make sure they stay out of certain areas...again, just ask, and I'll obey. But most volunteers I talked to had NO CLUE what was expected of them. None whatsoever.

Usually when I volunteer at these events, I'm in a kayak out in the water. Keep people on track, make sure they don't drown. I've got it down....but the land volunteers at this event were a bit lost.

I was one of the lost.

I understand how tri's work....what goes on...and the basics of what is needed. But there were 7-8 of us hanging out in the swim start area (where we were told to report) unsure of what to do. We helped people out as needed....but I felt a little silly just standing there all morning.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'd much rather see too many volunteers, than not enough...that's for darned sure! :-)

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...here I am...stuck in the middle with you....."

Racers were on the right, spectators on the left...and the staging area was in the middle.

Elite swimmers getting ready to go.

The transition area. I spent allot of time (once the swim portion was completed, standing along this fence watching the athletes do a quick change and run out with a bike, or running shoes in tow.

I find myself, every time I work one of these events, being very jealous that I'm not out there with them.

I'm terrified of water.

Yes, the kayaker is afraid of water....I know, I know...it's silly.

I spent some time helping the athlete food tent get set up. These are the chairs outside the tent, waiting for competitors to sit on them with a banana, yogurt, or baked good.

I eventually headed down the road, and found a patch of shade (thank goodness!) provided by a parked mini van.

It always amazes me how good of spirits the riders usually are as they come by. Happy, talking to the crowd....it's such a positive environment.

After the last of the bikers had passed, I jumped in my car and got out of the park while I could. I spent the rest of the day lounging on the couch with Sam and Isaac. Eating popcorn, watching movies, and taking it easy.


MJenks said...

I was up at 4:00 Sunday morning, too. Only I was dealing with my daughter drama-queening it up about a sick stomach, my son coughing, and my wife throwing herself around the bed to try and get comfortable with her back issue.

Jan @ Struck by Serendipity said...

Whew, that is way to early to get up! Tri's are so much fun though. I went with a friend to his a few months back and I thought he was joking when he told me to set the alarm for 3:30 a.m. (I haven't been to another one since, lol).

Nej said...

@ mjenks - You 4 am doesn't sound like much fun at all. :-(

@ Jan - hubby thought I was nuts when my alarm went off....actually, when my alarm went off, I thought I was nuts too. :-)

Jen said...

Waking up at 4am only to be 'lost' at the event would have irritated me. I am not a morning person. The only reason I'd wake up that early is to watch the sunrise. Undisturbed and in quiet peace.

However, being at an event like this would be kinda cool. Not 4am cool, but cool.

Izzy said...

I know, I know, it's been a LONG time since I've posted or commented! Sounds like I've missed a lot :). And getting up at 4 a.m.? Is for the birds! ;)

Nej said...

Izzy!!!!!! Long time no hear from!! Good to have you back!!!! :-)

Nej said...

@ Jen - the coolness of the event usually makes up for the time....but wandering around without direction made it seem a little less...well...cool. :-)