I am sure you would agree that there is some “behind-the-scenes” work that is involved in putting on the race – before last weekend I would have agreed. What I actually saw was beyond what I ever imagined.
If you have ever watched T1 go up before, you know that one job takes some time. That was nothing compared to the work that you don’t see.
The crew working the merchandise tent work long hours setting it all up and then worked 13-14 hour days managing issues like lost internet connection (meaning no credit card sales), local help not showing up, and upset customers who wanted a shirt that sold out in their size. They all remained gracious – I would like to think I would be too but I’m not so sure.
Due to shipment issues, I delivered the sunscreen for the race a little later than I expected. I arrived at the site at 11:30 the night before the race to find many people emptying trailers and ferrying things to the right spot along the course. I talked to one of the men working on getting the trailer emptied and its contents to the right location, he had been there since early that morning and said he would be leaving in the next hour or 2. He happily took the extra work that I was giving to him and went off on his gator to deliver.
That is just one race out of many for them…
I hear many people say that Ironman races are so expensive (my bank account knows that expense first hand). After last weekend, I am surprised they don’t charge more. I hear people complain about different issues they had with the race and have even heard athletes complaining angrily at Ironman staff. If you or a loved one has raced an Ironman race, you know what training and effort goes into getting to race day – maybe now you also know the effort that goes into putting the race on!
If you are racing or have someone racing an Ironman race this summer, smile and thank the staff and volunteers!
Share your great Ironman experiences and comments below!