Thursday, August 9, 2012
Tour of Utah 2012- Volunteering
We learned about the Tour of Utah pretty soon after we arrived in Ogden. There were billboards on I-15 about it, and within a week or so, these sign post flags were up and about on Washington Blvd. in Ogden.
I asked Scott about spectating, and he seemed uninterested, so I didn't push it on him. On Sunday I was looking at the website and saw a "volunteer" link, so I filled it out. I had no idea if they'd need volunteers, as orientation was the previous Tuesday. I basically wrote it off until Monday at 745 pm when I checked e-mail and said to Scott, "well, I guess I'm volunteering tomorrow" as I had received a detailed e-mail about where to check in, a waiver, a volunteer handbook, etc.
Tuesday (7 August 2012) morning I was up early to shower and walk to the MTC Learning Park at 1750 Monroe Blvd. in Ogden. I suppose I was a bit early, as at 0615, no one was there. I texed Scott to let him know where I was and I set about enjoying myself
The MTC Learning Park is the same location as the Ogden Botanical Gardens, and is absolutely beautiful! It has a huge parking lot and access to the Ogden River Parkway.
With the winds fiercely blowing and no race personnel showing up, I texted Scott who offered to come and get me. We sat in the Jeep, watched the sunrise over the Wasatch, waited, and waited. We drove near 25th and Washington, but saw no signs, so we headed back to the Botantical Gardens. About 20 minutes later, the people from GOAL Foundation arrived, and all was well.
The volunteering assignment was simple. I was a course marshall at Orchard and 25th which meant once the cops went by, indicating the start of the race, no cars were allowed to turn onto 25th Street. I stood in the intersection with my vest and flag, and motioned to one car to turn around. That was it.
My assignment lasted all of 5 minutes. Though with lead up and wake up time, it was close to 5 hours and 15 minutes.
The entire day was a huge success and I learned a lot. At one point, while waiting at Orchard and 25th, I texted Scott and encouraged him to come visit me (I was bored a bit, but thought he would enjoy the experience more). He said maybe, so I texted him back and asked him if he could spring me for a head call (if anything will get him to come, it's helping his pregnant wife!). We left the duty for 5 minutes, drove 4 blocks back home, completed missions, picked up a chair and soda for Scott, and returned.
Scott and I shared the duty before the race, soaking it in, and just enjoying time together. We talked later about how and why I volunteer and what it means to me, and his hesitance. It was a very profound chat, and by the end of the duty, he said he'd volunteer with me for any GOAL event I wanted. I responded, "Oh good. You're already signed up to help me at XTERRA USA Triathlon and Trail Running Championships in September." He smiled.
I'd like to stress the extreme organization of this event. The Tour of Utah is very well handled from everything that I was able to see and experience. The organizers have put forth much thought to improve it year after year, and Scott and I considered heading out to the Miller Motorsports Park today to watch the team time trials, but we didn't want to be in the heat for 3-4 hours.
We don't know where life will bring us next year, but we'd both love to volunteer again. Next August, we'll have an 8 month old who might make her Tour of Utah volunteering debut, or spectating one. We'll see where leads, and we are thankful for the experience that we had this year!