Sunday, July 14th, 2019 marked my return to Gravenhurst to compete in the Multsport Canada Triathlon Series Sprint Duathlon. When I first competed in Gravenhurst in 2016, I made the trek up to the Muskoka area solo as I was unfamiliar with the race course, venue and a little inexperienced with the steps and procedures to follow on race morning ( even after using the MSC website to read all the prerace information)!
It became clear as soon as I arrived that MSC goes out of their way to provide the racer with an easy to navigate registration process so that every athlete can have a positive race experience from start to finish. Racing in Gravenhurst also provides me with an opportunity to share my love for multisport racing with my kids. Since 2017, I have brought at least one of my three children to volunteer at the event.
This year due to sports commintments only my middle child Emerson was able to come with me, but we agreed that he could bring a friend along with him (Will) from his soccer team. On the way up on Saturday evening, I was listening to the conversation in the back seat of the car. Emerson was explaining some of the jobs that they would do in the morning with extreme detail and care! When we arrived on course the boys were put in charge of timing chips and I was able to help out until it was time for me to begin my warm up before the sprint duathlon start. They were given their instructions and immediately began to have athletes coming to claim their chips. They were confident and polite explaining where the timing chips should be worn for new racers and also wishing everyone good luck. Knowing that they were in the capable hands of the MSC team, I said my goodbyes and got ready to race.
Once again I ran into the finishing chute to see my son and friend busy at work taking timing chips and handing out finishers medals. I introduced the boys to a number of athletes and sponsors that I am happy to call friends.
Of course the highlight for the boys is the free pizza lunch and volunteer t-shirts that they received. Once the medal ceremonies were over, it was time to pack the car and head for home. On the way home I heard all about the events of the morning that I missed while racing and of course how amazing the pizza was.
The boys told all their friends about the volunteer adventures. I have already been approached by another soccer parent from my sons team about bring their son along next year.
Volunteering at MSC races has been a great way for me to introduce my kids to multisport racing, become involved in supporting the races and also spend time making memories together.
So for anyone wanting to show their friends and family what multisport racing is all about, sign up to volunteer at one of the races. Those of you with high school aged kids, it is a great way to pick up some of your community service hours. Need some more information on the volunteer opportunities at an MSC race head over to the MSC website.