1.04.2008

Florida stories: Ironman comes to Clearwater

Last November 10th the second annual Ironman 70.3 was held in Clearwater. What a hoot! Amazing athletes from all over the world came here to compete in this half Ironman. I think a full Ironman is nuts. Are you kidding me? It's a 2.4 mile swim, then a 112 mile bike ride and THEN A FULL MARATHON. A full marathon after swimming and biking. Jeez. These events are also called triathlons -- three things, get it?

Anyway, I found out in October that the Clearwater hosts were signing up volunteers to help with the event. Volunteers are always appreciated. Of course, free help, what's not to like? So I called the coordinator and said I had some free time, what did they need? Actually, I got to do something very fun -- sign in the athletes as they arrived for the event. It was awesome. I met some really fit, really buff men and women. A few of the athletes I signed in didn't speak English -- we did it all with sign language.

The other job I had was to time cyclists who got a penalty and had to stop in the penalty tent. If they got a general penalty, they only had to sign in at the tent, but if they were cited for drafting (catching a ride behind somebody else), they had to stay for 4 minutes. Ouch. We didn't get many people. I'm glad...they were unhappy to be there. It was more fun signing them in.