Today I got up at 5:30 AM, fed my dogs, ate breakfast, and headed down to Monroe Harbor so I could volunteer for the 30th Annual Chicago Triathlon. I signed up for transition marshal the same as last year, but chose the 2nd shift of 8 AM to 1 PM.
In a triathlon participants go through three stages; swim, bike and run. The transition is a secured area between the stages where racers store their bikes and gear before and during the race.
The South end has a short stretch where racers are running both directions along the narrow path. It’s our responsibility to guide runners in and out, direct spectators and lakefront path users around the runners, and prevent unauthorized entry to the transition.
The Chicago Triathlon has run for 30 years and attracts athletes of every level, novice to expert, from around the world, including para athletes, and a final wave of “pros” that included some Olympic athletes. I didn’t get to see the pros last year, and today they all ran past us at full bore.
It was fun cheering on all the runners, telling them they were doing great, and urging them to keep going. There were a few struggling along who perked up when we cheered. In addition to racing, many athletes raised money for their choice of twelve causes, including the official charity, Team to End Aids.
Today’s weather started out cloudy and cool, turning to drizzle and finally a steady rain. The rain seemed to affect the biking stage as I heard many comments about slipping and slow times. My rain poncho kept me mostly dry, but my boots were damp by the time I got home.
As a volunteer we got a really nice t-shirt and a boxed lunch which include a Jimmy John’s turkey sub, chips and trail mix. We were invited to post race party, but I was ready to make the trek home when my shift ended.
All in all, it was fun morning and I look forward to coming back next year!