A handful of WGCTT team mates joined the field of volunteer crew that supported the race. Mindi Straw is one of the co-race directors and has spent the last 6 months organizing all the race details. But it is truly the dedicated volunteers that come out to erect and support the course that are the backbone of the race. Cicely Wallis, Mary Trufant, Liz Valdez and Sue George all jumped at the opportunity to lend a helping hand to this great event.
5am came early – extra early as it was “spring forward” for Daylight Savings. As more than 70 volunteers began arriving it wasn’t long before the roads and walkways were transformed into a magnificent race venue for over 180 youth athletes and their spectators (friends and families) to relish. So much effort went into providing a top-notch experience for the athletes: a sprawling transition area with rack space for more than 200 bikes, a finish line which rivaled that of many storied adult events, bike support crew, complimentary refreshments provided by sponsors and professional timing and scoring.
Additionally, we were lucky to have 40 athletes sponsored by the Gulf Coast Tri Initiative -- all of them dressed in neon yellow team shirts. It is truly motivating to see all the work put forth by the Gulf Coast Tri Team, WGCTT and supporting sponsors – Anderson Subaru, and Pro Cycle & Tri, Santa Rosa Island Triathlon come to fruition! Despite chattering teeth and shivering bodies, the athletes were slotted into transition and ready to race.
There was plenty of excitement as family and friends began to line the race course. With seven total waves of athletes organized by age and race distance, the first wave of athletes took to the course (and challenging conditions) promptly at 8:30am. It seems as if the weather had little impact on the athletes once they were in run-bike-run mode. In the end, the athletes received finisher medals for their accomplishment and enjoyed the many post-event refreshments provided by the loyal event sponsors and volunteers.
To add to the excitement this year, the event included a school-based team award for the school with the highest amount of points. First Place honors went to Cordova Park Elementary with Oackcrest Elementary at a very close Second Place.
Congratulations to all the athletes on their accomplishment. WGCTT looks forward to continuing the support of youth multisport.