A little bit about you:
I remain active, having just returned from a month solo bike touring in France. I retired from teaching at San Marcos in 1999 but still do some adult ed teaching in between bike trips, skiing and playing tennis. It’s always inspiring to see all the athletes pushing their limits on the bike course and I like being involved, even if I’m not riding it.
When did you first volunteer for the Santa Barbara Triathlon?
I started as a participant in the first two years of the Santa Barbara Triathlon when we did a full 1/2 event and I was a lot younger. Never did learn to love the ocean swim but I wanted to stay connected so I started volunteering for the event instead of participating in it.
Is there a specific location or duty that you sign up for?
I chose a volunteer spot on the bike route on Gobernador Canyon after realizing how potentially dangerous this stretch of the course could be. I feared what might happen if a well intentioned but untrained volunteer handled that corner and over the years we’ve modified how the traffic flow is handled to make it safer but it still gets pretty exciting.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing the athletes do during the event?
Most frustrating are the riders, often in the middle of the pack, who think I am denying them their glory by making them wait for oncoming traffic to clear the intersection before they proceed. Best are those who express appreciation about what volunteers do and especially those who give me heat on the way out and then apologize when they come back through, having thought more about why I may have impeded their progress. It’s a race, but it is not of such importance that someone should suffer permanent injury or loss of a life; riders need to remember that.
What inspires you to volunteer?
I was a runner starting back in the 1960s when John Brennand and I would drive to L.A. many weekends to find a race to run. My first marathon was the Culver City Marathon and at the time I think it may have been one of the only ones outside of the Boston Marathon. Over many years I ran locally and got the benefit of all those volunteers, so part of my incentive to volunteer for the Santa Barbara Triathlon is simply payback for all the help I received. Others who now are active participants might consider switching roles when their competition days are over.