#30 - volunteering at the wanaka challenge
Wanaka Travel Blog› entry 30 of 113 › view all entries
*****DAY FORTY-SIX (Saturday, January 17th) - GOOD ON YA!*****
I volunteered to help out with the Wanaka Challenge today! I got to my post at 1:30pm and was there until 11pm. I'm so lucky I was paired up with Louise....we had so much fun cheering on all the runners. I made a sign that said "Good on ya!" - one of my favorite New Zealand phrases. :) I was oh-so-official in my bright orange traffic coordinator jacket. They thought it was going to rain, so we were SOOO lucky that the weather held out. It defintiely got pretty windy at times - but overall, such a great day. Our station had the prettiest view of the lake as we waited for runners to come up the hill. The course had 2 loops on the run, so we got to see everyone twice which was fun.
Chris MacDonald (Australia) was the first male finisher & Gina Ferguson (New Zealand) was the first female finisher. They both broke records! They were very impressive, but equally as impressive was the oldest competitor, Garth Barfoot - he's 72 years old and did the whole ironman! And there was also a team of Septaugenarians (their runner was 79!) So inspiring!!
At 10pm, it was so nice, a woman came out of her house and asked me if I wanted coffee! She brought me a little flask & a mug - it was SOO perfect. I can't believe we were out there all day - at times it seemed long, but overall it really flew by!
Louise, Jerry (her friend) and I went down to the finish line to watch the final finishers. We split a bottle of wine and sat outside (it was definitely CHILLY!) until the final competitors came in. It was so cool, they handed out sparklers to everyone as the final competitors came in & there were fireworks. So cool! Definitely a very long day & I was pooped - but I obviously did nothing compared to what the over 400 athletes did today. It was such a fun & rewarding way to spend my last day in Wanaka! :)