Saturday, May 24, 2008

Triathlon World Championships

I have taken part in some well run races with the support of some great volunteers. I decided that it was time to give back. I signed up to volunteer at the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships.

The Triathlon World Championships is the flagship event of the ITU (International Triathlon Union) and will be held this year in Vancouver on June 6 through 9 and comprises of several races. The elite races are the final qualifying races for the Canadian Triathlon Olympic team for Beijing. An estimated 2600 athletes from 40+ countries will be competing.

We had our volunteer orientation meeting today. I'm part of the Field of Play team. I'm a course marshal which means that I'm a glorified crossing guard. I'm responsible for controlling access to the race course and directing when pedestrians can cross the course. I had hoped to be a transition zone assistant but, oh well. I'll be helping out with Sprint Distance World Championships on Friday and the Elite Women's and Men's World Championships on Sunday. A sprint distance triathlon consists of a 750 m swim, 20 km bike and a 5 km run. The Olympic distance that the elites race is a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run.

I participated in the 2005 UBC Triathlon so I'm familiar with triathlons from the competitor's perspective. I ran in the Short distance race (400 m swim, 11 km bike, 5 km run). It was quite a challenge since I could barely swim 20 m when I started training for it. I came in 5th place for my age group (there were only 6 in the group) and last (by a fair margin) in the swim. I made up time on the bike leg and had a respectable run.

I have had occasional thoughts about doing another one to complete the sprint distance but I haven't gone swimming since then.

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