UTA: Part 3 – Volunteering

Events don’t work without the help of volunteers.

When you volunteer, you become apart of the community, and you will see the real human aspect of a race in all shapes and forms.

There is no doubt about it when you volunteer at an event like UTA, you will be inspired, you will get into the spirit and you will see all the emotions.

Volunteering is a great what to give back to the sport I love so much.

Therefore it made total sense to sign up to be a volunteer for this years UTA.  With hundreds of rolls available over the 4-day event, there is something for everyone. From aid-stations, checkpoints, medics, to event village.

Knowing that I would be coming from interstate, relying on public transport and not being familiar with the area, I requested to be in or around the event village.

My role, handing out medals for the 50/100km runners.

Wow, what an experience.  It’s nothing like you ever imagine.  I got to witness podium winners for the 50k & 100k events.

I saw runners give everything they had left to cross that finish line.  Here were people limping, hopping, crawling, walking, you name it, I saw it.

One of my highlights for the day was meeting (and totally fangirling) Lucy B.  Ultra Runner extraordinaire.  She is exactly like she is in her Instagram stories, real, honest and awfully humble.

After crossing the line in 2nd, she got changed (or dried off, as she looked like she went for a swim than a run), came back, and proceeded to hand out medals to unsuspecting ultra finishes.  Seeing the look of surprise from runners getting their medal from Lucy was just beautiful.  She didn’t have to do this, she wasn’t even asked, what a grateful unselfish thing to do.

There was something totally humbling about handing out medals to those that completed such a massive achievement.  You can’t help but get caught up in it all.

There was pure joy, but there was also pain.  Physical, emotional and mental pain.

There were tears from happiness but there were also tears from disappointment.

The 8 hours that I was out there flew by.  I handed out medals, buckles, buffs.  Took photos and selfies for runners.  Gave plenty of hugs, high fives, well done’s, and congratulations.

UTA, it was an absolute honor to be able to give you my time and to help out.