Ironman Lake Placid 2013 – The Volunteering

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday’s post discussed the workouts I did in Lake Placid, and today’s post details the volunteer experience.


As you may remember, I volunteered at the Ironman Syracuse 70.3 last year and loved it, so when my teammate told me she goes to Placid every year to volunteer, I jumped at the chance to make the trip.  We spent five days in the area, and it was my first time visiting in six years.  Back during high school basketball, my team played in a tournament there.  I hadn’t heard of triathlon at the time, and we didn’t get a chance to truly explore and experience the village.  I blame the chaperones—ha!

Anyway, it took 4,000 volunteers to help the race run as smoothly as possible.  Believe it or not, the volunteers actually outnumbered the athletes! (Three thousand triathletes registered, and close to 2,700 raced.)


Serious bike envy.

A few months ago, my teammate signed us up for “gear bags out,” a shorter shift that lasted slightly less than an hour and a half.

Here’s how it worked:  After the triathletes exited the water and jogged to transition, they grabbed their bike gear bags, entered the changing tent, and made necessary clothing changes for their 112-mile ride.  Then, volunteers working inside the tents slid the bags (now filled with swim gear) back outside.


From there, 30 or so volunteers organized the bags in numerical order and then placed them back on their respective racks.


Even though our shift was short—we finished in a little less than an hour and a half—I loved being in transition; a true hot spot and high-traffic area, this location lets you see everyone coming in from the water and heading out on the bike.  Not only do you get a front-row seat of the actions, but you also get to help the triathletes—you can beat it!

Plus, completing a shorter volunteer shift gave us plenty of time to spectate!


More on that in a bit!

Have you volunteered for a race?

17 responses to “Ironman Lake Placid 2013 – The Volunteering

  1. Good for you volunteering! Last summer I volunteered at a 10k here in Toronto and had a blast. It’s so much fun encouraging all the runners to keep going and push for their best! What kind of swag did the runners get?

    • They got hooked up! Very nice backpacks, plus finishers shirts, medals, etc. Ironman does it right! 🙂

  2. Glad you had a great time! Mike and I love volunteering, we’re volunteering at a triathlon this weekend. It should be a fun time!

    I think I want to volunteer at a 70.3 or 140.6 before Ironman Louisville next year, it will help pump us up!

    • Oh, I know you and Mike are all about volunteering. 😉 It’s great to pay it forward and give back to the sport, and you’ll definitely get pumped up watching a 70.3 or 140.6 before signing up for your full. It’s really inspiring to watch athletes of all shapes and sizes put their training to the test and cross the finish line.

  3. I’ve never volunteered, but I know that spectating a race can be so much fun! It makes you want to jump in and compete yourself!

    • You’ve got it! And if my teammates hadn’t been there to hold me back, then I probably would’ve signed up for next year’s race. 😉

  4. I’ve never volunteered for a race, but I’d love to at some point. I truly admire the hard work volunteers put in and how much it helps out the competitors!

    • The volunteer coordinators at Lake Placid have it down to a science. Even though I was a volunteer newbie, I knew exactly what to do, and it’s awesome when participants appreciate it. So many triathletes running into transition thanked us (during their race, which is super impressive), and after the race, I kept hearing positive and positive in terms of the volunteers’ work. It’s great to give back!

  5. That looks like so much fun and I can imagine just how inspiring it was to watch those athletes. I’m glad you had such a great time at Lake Placid. The last time I went there it was actually -30 degrees (literally) so it baffles my mind to see people in shorts LOL.

  6. I have never volunteered for a race, but I would love to someday! When I ran my half, I was so impressed that volunteers woke up at insane morning hours to help ensure that folks were well-hydrated and safe while running. Those triathletes are so lucky that people like you were willing to help out!

    • It’s very cool to experience a race from both perspectives; volunteering gave me an even greater appreciation for the volunteers and even greater respect for the athletes.

  7. This is awesome! Are you planning on doing IMLP next year? Two of my friends went up there this year to volunteer so the husband would get a spot 😉

    • Cori, I was so tempted to sign up, but I know it’s not my time to make that jump yet; one day, though, for sure. 🙂

  8. I keep meaning to sign up to volunteer at one of the races that my husband does (beats cheering alone all day!), but I haven’t yet. Looks like you had a great time!!

  9. Pingback: Volunteering for the Challenged Athletes Foundation at the New York City Triathlon - Fitness and Frozen Grapes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *