Ramblin Rose

Always looking for a chance to volunteer at a race, I noticed in the Endurance Magazine here a few months ago that this all-female triathlon was taking place about 15 miles from us. It was a 250 yard pool swim, 8 mile bike ride, and a 2 mile run called the Ramblin Rose and it was a way to get women into the sport of triathlon. I thought it would be a great way to spend a Sunday morning (though at 4:30am) and lend my support in order to repay the time volunteers spent at the races I have done.

I was happy that Gina was interested in volunteering also. We’ve done a few small races as volunteers and with the distances and crowds being small, the time commitment wasn’t a factor – and never had a bad experience either. I feed off of Gina’s Sherpa knowledge and “go to work”.

We got there about 5:30 and plenty of time to park, check in, and Gina even got some coffee. The weather was close to 70 and a bit muggy. Still no rain here and now the area is in a severe drought. Fall?? No way. I wish they kept our pool open. Some 500 or so women were in this race and I got to meet a few great people behind the scenes thanks to Julie who wasn’t racing due to a back injury, but decided to volunteer also. This is her area – Huntersville – and she knows people. Team Triumph, Girls on the Run, Endurance Magazine, and Setup Events have a great staff and I enjoyed meeting someone from each organization. As Julie introduces me to the people on “the list”, I grow more in respect for the way she has been able to manage the Charlotte Running Co. (more on this later).

Gina and I were first assigned to Registration where we handed race bags to people arriving to get their “goodie bag”. After an hour, I got the news I was longing to hear – we were asked to help do Bodymarking!!! Armed with my felt marker, I shouted that I was available and gladly did my share of “branding”. It was awesome. What was fun too was calming some pre-race jitters, sharing race tips, and even helping a few Novice athletes how to stick their bike labels. The Aquatic Center was impressive. A great venue for holding such an event and I wished to be able to take a jump off the high platform.

We were then able to see the start and make our way over to the only water station for the run course. We helped Tina and her young son fill loads of water cups and Accelerade while ringing the cow bell as loud as possible for all the athletes – right up to the final two who finished together. It was only 10:30 and we felt we were there all day, since now the sun was out, it was warm, and we’ve been having so much fun. We took time to get some drinks and sit in the grass wearing our sweeeeet long-sleeved mesh shirts. Who cared that they were black. Totally worthwhile.

A great event and inspiring one. Stuff like this motivates me to train and race as I do, but also to always say a “thank you” to volunteers and appreciate what EVERYONE brings to the starting line come race day. Gives me a chance to see what Gina goes through too during an event. I was so inspired, I let her put the Ramblin Rose temporary tatoo on me (won’t say where) and I even let her shave my face!!

As mentioned before, Julie has helped me a great deal in learning the ropes at CRC. Last week, Scott offered me her job of manager since she has accepted a position in the school system here. Though she will still be around when she can –  and always available if I need her, I now have to pick her brain as fast as I can this week (and create an Excel spreadsheet of it). Give her all the “DC” she wants.

Now I am thinking of shifting my final race to the Thunder Road Half Marathon on Dec 8th. With the new requirements at work, the Jubliee 8K in two weeks, and the Turkey Trot, it will allow me the time and structure to put a more cohesive plan for this event and even get to use the CRC races as tune-ups. And with this weather, heck, still run in shorts and a tshirt!



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