Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mass. State Triathlon - Volunteering!

Elle: Webb and I decided it was time that we gave a little something back to the community that gives us so much enjoyment and pain (but in a good way). So on July 14, we headed out to Winchendon, Massachusetts to volunteer at the Mass State Triathlon with is an organization that is all about getting water to those in need. Team Water.Org is a collection of athletes who participate in a variety of endurance events united in the common cause to support's efforts. Chances are if you are reading this you don't take water for granted. Anyway, our team captain is Kyle Damon, who is also a triathlete. Webb emailed Kyle and told him we wanted to help the team volunteer at the Mass State Tri. And so we did.

Webb: The Mass State Tri has both sprint and olympic distance races. Team was manning the water station at the 6km mark. This was a symbolic water stop as the average person in developing countries walks 6km to obtain clean water for the household. I don't know about you, but I walk to my sink to fill up my water bottles. This was a great chance to give back to the triathlon community while raising awareness of the global problem of access to clean water.

Karen Smyers handing out water @ 6K,me, supporting with the back-up water
photo credit: Team 
On race day, the sun was out in full force. Just setting up the water and HEED table we could feel the heat beginning to bear down on us. The first athlete to come through was our friend Nate. (If you want to read a race report check out his.) A bit later 2nd came through with 3rd place not far behind. in fact he would end up overtaking him. Then a small stream of the fast athletes started flowing through. With no warning that stream became a flood as the mid-packers began to arrive. And it was only getting hotter. We stood out there for 2 hours in the hot sun, passing out water to people fighting dehydration. It was kind of exhausting. I told Kyle I wish I had worn my Garmin so I could log it as a workout. And to add a bit of triathlon celebrity to the day, Karen Smyers was there, handing out water with the rest of us.

Elle: Karen Smyers is not only one of the first people inducted into the Triathlon Hall of Fame, but also seems to keep showing up in our lives. I'm going to take that as a sign that we were meant to be triathletes.
Team @ the Mass State Triathlon 
photo credit: Team
So, it was hot. Super hot. And sunny. That sun beat down on us for quite some time. You really appreciate water on a day like this. I was glad we had decided to volunteer, but it was work, for sure. Finally it was quitting time, and we headed back to the transition area - we congratulated Nate, and checked in with our other friends. All of the usual suspects were there: Beth Allen, Jorge Martinez, Ed Galante, Jessica Douglas and all the rest. We hung out with the Team peeps for awhile, but we still had a bike workout to get in. So I ended up changing into my bike shorts in a port-o-potty, not my finest hour.
Then, we took our hot, sweaty, tired bodies and started our 2-hour ride. We did the olympic bike course from the race, plus a mystery loop that included an off-road section, plus a category 4 climb. Thanks Webb!, I won't get into all the gory details, but I was glad when that ride was over. Sometimes you're hot and tired and hurting, and the last thing you want to do is workout. But you make it happen. And in the end, you're stronger for it. I think...

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