Optimistic Ironman seeks volunteers

Some 2,000 needed, same as usual; pandemic precautions planned

Ironman volunteers won’t strip wetsuits off racers after the swim leg of the triathlon this year, as seen in July 2019. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Ironman Volunteers Facebook page announced earlier this week that registration is now open for volunteering at this year’s Ironman Lake Placid triathlon, which is scheduled for Sunday, July 25.

“While we are at the mercy of the state and local communities, we are very optimistic that the race will take place,” the post states.

Since there is still a coronavirus pandemic, officials have made a number of changes for the safety of athletes, volunteers and staff. That includes multiple screening locations, such as before entering the athlete check-in, expo area and transitions. All will be screened daily, including the morning of the race before the swim.

“We just want everyone to feel safe and comfortable volunteering,” Bethany Valenze, volunteer coordinator for Ironman Lake Placid, said Wednesday.

Valenze said she still needs about 2,000 volunteers for Ironman this year, not just on race day but over the course of a week.

“Areas that have been eliminated, we have added spots,” Valenze said. “For example, there’s a couple places in the transition that we’ve eliminated volunteer spots, but we’ve added screener volunteers because everybody has to be screened. We’re going to be adding more course marshals and possibly at the aid stations because they are going to be more spread out this year.”

Volunteer positions include athlete check-in, bike and run aid stations, athlete kit stuffing, athlete food, lifeguards, course marshals, emergency medical technicians and other medical positions, VIP check-in and hosting, timing and crowd control/security.

Some traditional volunteering opportunities will be absent, including people marking athletes’ bodies with numbers and the wetsuit strippers at the swim area.

Bike aid stations will be more spread out, with volunteers only handing out whole foods. Tables at the run aid stations will be more spread out, and athletes will take what they want off the tables instead of volunteers handing out the products. Volunteers will restock the products on the tables.

Transition areas will be different. There won’t be any bike handlers, people in massage tents, sunscreen teams, change tents or gear bags.

Volunteers will be required to wear face masks, and Ironman will provide personal protective equipment, according to Valenze.

People can sign up to volunteer for this year’s Ironman Lake Placid online at www.lakeplacid.com/ironmanvolunteer.


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