We had a major sports event here in Tulsa Sunday. The North American Ironman race. A triathlon race covering over 2 miles of open water swimming in a lake starting a dark thirty in the morning, a 112 mile bike ride through the Osage Hills and finishing with a marathon distance run up and down Tulsa’s RiverParks trails. And no I didn’t participate in the race. I helped out an aid station on Sunday afternoon on the marathon course.
It seemed like most of the racers were from out of state. I was told it cost about $900 to enter the race. It’s like what!!!! Oh well. The organizers really had their act together on this. They can bring a lot of resources to bear. From my point of view as a volunteer they made it very easy to sign up and they broke the tasks down so even I could understand it.
I was in charge of Gatorade. I didn’t have a lot of takers. For one thing they had lots of aid stations so it wasn’t like they were famished when they got to us. I think another thing is that runners would rather have salty type foods or even pickle juice than Gatorade. Back in the day when I was running longer distances Gatorade didn’t sit too well with me. But hey, anybody that wanted some, I was ready! We never really got swarmed during the race. By the time the racers got to the running event, they were pretty well spaced out.
I was amazed by the racers. You have to be very dedicated to do this. You can’t really fake it to make it on a triathlon. The early front runners were running like there was no stress. When I left Sunday night at 7:30 there were still lots of runners just starting their second loop. I was thinking oh wow, are they going to make it another 13 miles or so. Out of all the people I saw I observed only a handful that were what some might call overweight. I saw a lot of people my age or older, probably the majority of them were women who looked very fit.
I was getting kind of hungry and the race organizers got pizza for the volunteers. Sign me up!!
I think the Ironman is coming back to Tulsa for two more years. I’ll be there, volunteering.
I’m linking with Our World Tuesday, come and check it out.