Women’s Tri Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Halloran
YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon attracts a diverse group of female racers every year ranging from elite athletes to first-time triathlon participants. The level of support racers receive from volunteers keep participants coming back. We asked Chris Halloran, one of the longest-serving YWCA Women’s Triathlon volunteers, about his experience and why he looks forward to the event each year.
When did you first start volunteering with the YWCA Women’s Triathlon?
My first volunteer experience with the YWCA Women’s Tri was helping on race day back in 2009. This was the race’s second year, and the last year it was held at Baker Park. That summer, I became interested in racing triathlons, so I signed up for one of the YWCA’s new-to-the-sport “Tri Skills” clinics, and that’s where I first met Paul Johnson and Nicole Cueno (past and present Race Directors, respectively). Paul and Nicole recruited me to volunteer at that year’s upcoming race, and it was a fantastic experience – it launched me on a very rewarding path of race volunteering, and as a bonus, I learned that volunteer experience is a huge benefit as a racer. I have volunteered with the Women’s Triathlon every year since, and look forward to many more!
Why did you get involved? Why do you keep coming back?
During that Tri Skills clinic I attended in ’09, I was so impressed with Paul’s and Nicole’s genuine passion for fostering training & race environments that are supportive, inclusive, and uplifting. I realize it may sound hokey, but the opportunity to join into that positivity and enthusiasm was an immediate draw for me.
And that’s still what keeps me coming back year after year… I believe these qualities and values are what continue today to set the YWCA Women’s Tri ahead of other race events, and I’m thankful and proud to be part of this fantastic team!
What would you say to someone not familiar with the Tri and is thinking of volunteering?
I can well appreciate that getting involved can be quite intimidating to consider, especially if you are not very familiar with how triathlons work. Please do not let that be a barrier! There’s no requirement to know much of anything about triathlons or this specific race ahead of time – your lead volunteer coordinator will tell you everything you need to know, and he/she will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
Everyone from the Nicole & her race staff on down through the elite-level racers all were brand-new to this at some point too, and I promise you that we all remember how that felt. For the staff, racers, and volunteers, the Women’s Tri is an environment of respect, support, and growth – you are welcome and encouraged to join us – we would be grateful for your contributions!
Are you assigned to a specific task/volunteer duty during the Tri?
Every volunteer is indeed assigned to a specific task to assist with – this level of detail is important since there are so many elements of a triathlon race that all must fluidly coordinate together. Volunteers truly are that essential key in providing a smooth race-day experience for both the racers and their supporters, since volunteers are the main points-of-contact from racer’s early arrival race morning through getting packed up after finish. When possible, the race staff do their best to accommodate requests to place volunteers in areas of their choice, but a willingness to be flexible is much appreciated. The race staff & lead volunteers are always happy to answer any questions you may have about the various volunteer opportunities.
Anything else you would like to mention?
Please come join us – you’ll have a fun and rewarding time!
Women’s Tri Registration Now Open
Registration is open for the Ninth Annual YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon, August 14, 2016 at Lake Nokomis.
It takes hundreds of volunteers to make the YWCA Women’s Triathlon a success. Please sign up and join us for this event!