Volunteers Support Community Event Success
I know from my own experience competing in races and a few triathlons that events like the YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon just couldn’t happen without all of the volunteers. One of the reasons I love being part of the YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon is because the community around this race is particularly strong, empowering, inclusive and just plain fun.
Understanding the Importance of Volunteers
I am thankful for the volunteer at the end of the race who helps provide a steady hand while you put on some warm layers and the volunteer that holds out water at a rest station just as you are getting thirsty. On race weekend, the volunteers, spectators, race directors and athletes are all part of this fantastic community who are experiencing the race together.
Finding a Great Community at YWCA Minneapolis
When I participated in the YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Tri for the first time, I had recently moved to Minneapolis and was looking for some kind of athletic endeavor to try after college. I wanted to find a race that would be convenient (because races start early in the morning!) and also have a friendly and laid back atmosphere. The YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Tri was a great find, and I really enjoyed my race. My family came out to watch and I was proud to finish and celebrate with them.
Later on, when I was looking to join a gym, I remembered how much I loved the YWCA Women’s Tri and I joined the YWCA Uptown location. My introduction to competing in the YWCA Women’s Tri eventually led me to road racing. I have completed many races of all distances from 1 mile to a marathon with the support of Laurie Goudreault, a fantastic coach in the YWCA Endurance Sports program, and the YWCA running team. I love volunteering at the Women’s Tri to support my friends who are racing and my YWCA community.
So Many Volunteer Options
Luckily for me, it is so much fun to volunteer! I’ve done a number of different jobs over the last few years: I’ve raced twice, helped with “bodymarking” on race morning, given out timing chips, worked the bag check, stuffed racer packets and swag bags and handed out those same packets at packet pickup! Every job has its own perks. I love getting to meet all of the racers and working with the other volunteers. I love seeing the race in full swing and watching the talented athletes working hard!
Helping First-Time Racers
My absolute favorite part is talking to a first-time triathlete at the expo--who maybe has a lot of questions and is feeling pretty nervous--and then catching up with them after the race when they are full of joy and pride from completing their first triathlon. Seeing that full circle and getting to be a part of their triathlon community is what keeps me coming back to the YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Tri!
Congratulations to all of the racers this year and to the amazing race organizers!