VOLUNTEER RECAP OF 14th ANNUAL PUBLIX GRANDMAN TRIATHLON
Written By: Volunteer and Engagement AmeriCorps Members
Karrie Quirin and Sarah Hogan
This blog is a HUGE thank you letter to all the volunteers, racers, vendors, sponsors, and the public who attended and/or supported our events during the weekend of June 1 - 3 , which included the Lyon Fry Cadden Health and Fitness Expo, the 14th Annual Publix Grandman Triathlon, and the Publix Jubilee Kids Triathlon. We had around 212 volunteers over the weekend, one of the biggest turnouts yet!
Friday: Lyon Fry Cadden Health & Fitness Expo and race setup
When the Baykeeper Team showed up on Friday, our first task was to set up for the Lyon Fry Cadden Health and Fitness Expo to kickoff the race weekend. Many of our volunteers showed up on Friday to help with the setup, which included: tent setup, vender arrangement, barrier placement, cone placement along the raceways, and merchandise distribution. Our amazing volunteers put in consistent hard work despite the temperatures reaching the low 90’s. Each task was met with a happy attitude, and at any time there was a stopping minute they were quick to inquire of the next job. Once the Health and Fitness Expo began, racers, volunteers, community members, friends and family enjoyed live music by ‘Sloth Racers’ and participated in several different activities. Some included: yoga from Glow Yoga instructors, experiencing a relaxing back and neck massage, challenging their strength with a high intensity interval training from OM Personal Fitness, and Jessica from FIT aided in recovery stretching lessons. After the sun slipped over the horizon, final touches were made to the race course, and the team and volunteers went home to rest up for our biggest event of the year.
Saturday: 14th Annual Publix Grandman Triathlon
Starting bright and early at 4 A.M., Mobile Baykeeper staff, AmeriCorps Members, and interns set forth to prepare the day for the 14th annual Publix Grandman Triathlon. Shortly afterward, eager volunteers and racers began to arrive, some familiar faces and some new, all coming together to celebrate The Grandman. Volunteer roles during the event included: early-bird race course set up, body marking, chip timing, swim course safety, lifeguarding, transition area, managing water stations, traffic assisting, tending the food, soda, and beer tents, chip timer removal, handing out finisher medals, and last but not least race course breakdown. With the sun rising on the horizon and clear skies above, more than 600 racers lined up for the swim, and the race kicked off promptly at 7 A.M. After their ⅓ of a mile swim, racers bike 18 miles and finish with a 5K run. Our overall first place finisher crossed the finish line in 1 hour and 23 minutes! When the racers finished, they were greeted with an amazing after party in the park next to the pier, which was open to the public as well. You know Mobile Baykeeper knows how to throw a party, right? We had food and drinks, ice cold beer from Corona Premiere free massages, and post-race stretching sessions! When the party wrapped up and the course was broken down, the Baykeeper team was proud of the work they had accomplished and ready to continue the momentum for one last day!
Sunday: Jubilee Kids Triathlon
The Baykeeper team was blessed with a third day of beautiful weather to begin the final day of our triathlon weekend. We had additional help recruiting and managing our volunteers for the Kids Triathlon from Lisa Freeman. Volunteer roles were the same as the previous day, just on a smaller scale, and our volunteers were just as dedicated as the day before, ready to cheer on our 81 kid racers. Due to hazardous water conditions, the triathlon was changed into a duathlon consisting of run-bike-run with two different distance categories based upon age. It was truly inspiring to see these young racers determined to finish strong, including our Executive Director’s son, Coleman Callaway! Of course, we had to finish the day with an after party for the racers and their family and friends while enjoying free food and drinks with a great DJ!
When it was all said and done, we left exhausted but with a smile on our faces. We have received a multitude of praise-worthy comments from both our volunteers and racers. We would love to return the notion and show our appreciation to everyone’s dedication. This is our largest fundraiser of the year, bringing in the funding we use to ensure the safety and health of our Mobile Bay Watershed. Without the help and support of all those involved, this weekend of hard work could not have been possible!
We can’t wait for next year!