The Young Endurance Athlete (YEA) triathlon 2009 was held at Putrajaya Presint 6 last weekend, and I was there as a volunteer, among others, to give help whenever and wherever needed.
The registration and triathlon race clinic was held on Saturday morning, while the actual race where the kids braved themselves with the three disciplines of a triathlon, was on Sunday morning. Being purely a volunteer this time, I don't really know what's going on behind the scenes from the organizing committee's perspective, nor that I know what the participants felt during the two days. But I hope everything went well, and most importantly, enjoyable!
Saturday's Triathlon Clinic
I arrived just slightly after 7am and there were already some parents registering their children. I met a few triathlete friends who were there as the organizing committee and coaches, and some others who turned up just like me, to become volunteers.
I mingled around the registration area, helping out here and there, as required, as well as to do what I think was necessary. Being a volunteer, there are times where your instinct and initiative plays a greater role. Having some experience when I helped out during JB City Eco Challenge few months ago, it helps me in my 'taking initiative' department this time.
When the triathlon clinic started, the participants were grouped into their respective age groups. All of them were then brought to the swimming pool, where the coaches taught them some basic stretching tips, and other tips regarding triathlon swimming. And especially in triathlon, there is such thing we call 'mass-swimming', i.e. swimming together close to each other that body contacts might occur. So one should be mentally aware and at least, know what to expect during the swim.
After they were done with the swim, each of the three age groups were asked to follow three team of coaches where next triathlon tips were taught, namely the transition, the bike, and finally the run.
Another coach shared her knowledge on what to do during transition. In triathlon, there are two transitions, 1) Swim-Bike transition, and 2) Bike-Run transition. It may sound easy, but it's actually pretty tricky. Have you seen a triathlete running with a helmet on, or cycling while still wearing swimming goggles?
The triathlon clinic ended somewhere in the afternoon, but I had to leave slightly earlier due to the many Raya open house invitations I have to fulfill that Saturday afternoon.
Sunday's Triathlon Race
I arrived Putrajaya as early as 6.10am in the morning as there were very limited resource of volunteers but many things to be done before any participants and parents arrive. Unfortunately due to a strong storm and rain earlier in the morning, all cones that were used to mark the road were blown off from their original positions, and I spent some times in the dark rearranging them.
Once the parents and participants arrived, I made myself busy manning the body marking area. This was my first experience to body mark people, where all this while I was the one being marked.
(Photos courtesy of Kash)
By 7.30am, the race briefing took place. Kids being kids, and parents being parents, I guess the committee had a tough time getting and holding their attention. As a triathlete myself, I always consider race briefing as one important aspect when going to an event, because eventhough the race route might be similar to the previous years', there might just be some additional information being given during a race briefing. As a racer, I never skipped any race briefing so far.
Since I had to be stationed at the swimming pool, I did not bring along my camera. No more photos from then onwards.
At the swimming pool, we gathered the age groupers and released them for their races in three waves. One group at a time. Most of them were eager to start the race, especially the smaller kids. They just can't wait to get things started.
And since the format of the race was that, we let each age groupers to finish all the swim, bike and run first before we release the next age groupers to start with their swims. That means, I had to be only at the swimming pool and not being able to watch the kids bike and run and collect the medals at the finishing line. Anyway, I was just a volunteer, so I don't mind (but, I am incapable of telling more stories about what happened outside the swimming pool).
After releasing the final age groupers and making sure they all swam successfully, I quickly went to grab my camera and rushed myself to the finishing line to grab some more photos.
Anyway, the race ended well, with no injuries or any kind of incidents (not that I know of). I'm not sure what the participants thought about the event, and am not sure what the comments are from the parents. I hope all were OK, and hopefully all had fun. Once again, I was not part of the committee. And as a volunteer, it was a bless to see the kids and parents smiling.
This group of triathletes came from Ipoh, and they stayed overnight at the event area. And two of them won both the C and B categories. They were packing their stuffs onto the truck before heading home with a new experience being a, triathlete.