Wanted: Volunteers of Iron - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Wanted: Volunteers of Iron

Cd'A Ironman well short of help needed on race day

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - There's no other way to put it: The positions with the most sex appeal are booked, filled up, plum off the market.

Which ones are those?

Strippers and body painters, but more on that later.

Because Ironman still needs volunteers - even if the glamour spots are full up - and lots of them.

"We're a little behind the curve this year," said Michelle Haustein, Coeur d'Alene Ironman volunteer director. "We're not exactly sure why, to be honest with you."

The 140-mile triathlon race has 2,544 volunteers to help along the swim, bike and run course, not to mention medical tents.

But its goal is to have 3,800 to 4,200 helpers on hand June 23, so they're about 1,200 to 1,600 bodies in the hole.

Race day is still about two weeks out, so the organization isn't in panic mode. Plus, they'll take volunteers just about until the opening swim.

But ...

"We do need people," Haustein said.

Specifically, they need help at bicycle and running aid stations and sector points. Aid stations are where the volunteers hand out hydration and food, and the bicycle ones can be tough to fill because cyclists sometimes go whizzing by, so volunteers who want to hand them a cup have to keep up a good pace of their own.

Sector stations are where volunteers point or flag the direction of the course to alert athletes of a possible bend in the road.

Sector standers can dress up and cheer as they wave flags pointing out the way.

"We try and make it as fun as possible," Haustein said.

She said a possible drop off in volunteer numbers is because of the Boston Marathon bombings, but added increased security at their events since the April attack should ease concerns.

They're also looking for help in the medical tents, whether nurses or errand runners who can pick up supplies or bags in a hurry.

The spots they don't need filled are wet suit strippers and body markers.

Suit strippers, as the title explains, strip the swimmers suits off as they climb from Lake Coeur d'Alene. Body markers, as the name says, are the people who write the numbers on the athletes' bare skin before they put on their wet suits.

Those 62 slots filled up quicker than quick.

"Most of the body markers are female, so I think it's because they get to touch the athletes before they're tired and sweaty," Haustein said.

The other popular job?

Finish line catchers, or catching the athletes as they collapse across the finish line. Those 150 slots are booked up, but plenty of other opportunities are available. And though volunteers shouldn't be in it for compensation, an awards banquet will be Monday to say thanks.

To register, go to www.ironmancda.com. For more information, visit cda@ironmanvolunteers.com.

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4 comments:

  • my own opinion posted at 11:33 am on Sun, Jun 16, 2013.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    I'm glad it does not go past my home anymore. A few years back a person with a medical emergency DIED because the fire dept could not cross the road to get into the neighborhood to help the victim of Iron man selfishness!

    The bike riders time would be messed up and after all they paid over a thousand dollars to not be interrupted. So my neighbors life got interrupted permanently.
    Iron man is a very spoiled self serving group of people, they need to move on to other places. Oh thanks for the road fix paid by my taxes and forced by the Ironman organization.

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 7:05 am on Thu, Jun 13, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Both Samuel Standing and voxpop make valid points.

    This "FOR PROFIT" event hides under the mask of benefiting the community. Only if you own a hotel/motel and/or restaurant. Both which pay locals minimum wage or LESS. The average local is expected to GIVE their time while the city gives Ironman $50,000 each year in taxpayer funds to sponsor this "FOR PROFIT" event..

     
  • SamuelStanding posted at 8:15 am on Wed, Jun 12, 2013.

    SamuelStanding Posts: 621

    Volunteering for something worth-while and you believe in is always good for a community. I speak of volunteers for food collection/distribution and the general welfare of your community.
    Ironman has been here for years now, and to many a disruption of access to parts of town, services and a normal daily flow. Sure, it is only one day, but really only the downtown vendors profit from this two week invasion. Locals are busy with LIFE and if they don't want to VOLUNTEER, then the organizers need to rethink/re-tool their event. Pay some of the graduating students to assist in the program. But do not continue to think that a busy community will ALWAYS have such a large amount of free labor for an annual event.

     
  • voxpop posted at 7:49 am on Wed, Jun 12, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    The real reason for a drop in volunteers has nothing to do with Beantown. People are just finally waking up to the fact that Ironman is a business, pure and simple, and is maximizing their profits on the backs of good-hearted folks. Honestly, since this IS just a business, they should be forced by some govt agency somewhere to pay for the help. Even those boneheads standing out in front of KMC are making over $12/hr. Donating time for charities I get but never for just another greedy business.

     
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