Nominations are still open for local and visitors chasing that authentic Ironman experience; without all the training, blood, sweat and tears; from yourself at least. You may still encounter some blood, sweat and tears (gloves provided) from the athletes you assist as an Ironman Volunteer. This taskforce of incredible individuals do so much of the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff, without which the race would be much more uncomfortable for the competitors.
If you’ve volunteered before you’ll be reasonably confident your next experience will be another great one, you’re as close to the game day action as can be, and nothing inspires you more to help than watching each athlete pass you on their own path to glory.
If you haven’t volunteered before, here’s what you can expect (from a volunteer’s own personal experience);
“The day before Ironman there’s a lull around town, athletes are storing energy, loading carbos and quietly sinking into the comfort of their accommodation. The hotels are full and the roads busting with cars complete with a range of 'bike on roof' attachments.
The night before you’re early to bed yourself, you know you’ll too need all the energy you can muster to get through the next day. Of course you’ll wake up too early, you know at 5am the Ironmen and women are already well awake and preparing, around 6am they’ll dive into a “refreshing” Hastings River for a swim. A leisurely 3.8 kilometres long. It’s quite a sight to see both volunteers and spectators staying dry and hundreds of wetsuit clad humans descend into the drink!
I was volunteering in the run leg, which is the longest in duration of the events, 42.4kms to be exact, it follows the 3.8km swim and 180km bike ride. As a marshal I ensured the path was kept clear – and kept a keen eye out for dropping athletes. It’s not a difficult job, especially in comparison to the job of the athletes, it’s great to see supporters on the sidelines encouraging and cheering them on.
At the end of it all, as volunteers, we’ve made a huge impact and achievement as well. We’re rewarded personally, but also in the form of appreciation by kind and thankful words, by giveaways and the post-event function, but also by a feeling of community spirit. We’re Super Ironmen and Ironwomen Volunteers after all!”
To register: http://regonline.activeglobal.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1054755
Ironman Australia's website: http://ironmanaustralia.com/
GPMEvents and FAQ: http://www.hastings.nsw.gov.au/www/html/2587-event-details.asp?intEventID=12482