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Outlaw Needs You!

How would I describe volunteering on an Outlaw feed station?


Rewarding, noisy, tiring, buzzing, organised chaos and a whole lot of fun!


I volunteered on the feed station at outlaw triathlon in 2023 for the first time. I have never competed in a half or full ironman distance triathlon nor supported anyone who has, so I had very limited idea what it would be like. I was, therefore, a little nervous and added to this I didn’t know who the other volunteers would be.


I’d decided to camp over the night before so I could be there for the start and take part in the 5km swim the day before (this and the 2.5km swim is offered free as a thank you for volunteers).   I arrived late and in a flap which is standard for me to be honest. I managed to rip my wetsuit getting it on in a rush and didn’t pull it up properly which I only realised when I started swimming and felt the rub start on my neck – eek. I enjoyed the swim, despite it being choppy and the growing sore on neck!


I then went to the camp site and found the other wakey tri volunteers, thanks to the excellent use of a club flag by Mr Colin Pink. Having set up our tents we all decanted to the pub up the road for some food and a few beers. Everyone was really friendly, and we enjoyed a few tunes back the camp site (thanks to Harry an excellent DJ).


I woke early and was able to watch the cyclists fly by as they left the water sports centre before we went over to the lakeside where we were needed to set up the run feed station. Greg has been doing this for years and so is well practiced at getting everyone organised, we prepped drinks and snacks (energy bars, gels and fruit) well in advance of the first runners, with plenty of time to chat and have a look round some of the stalls offering tri gear (with some excellent discounts).


Back the station, as the first runners fly by, there is limited interest in snacks or drinks but we cheered them on and generally made as much noise as possible. Gradually as the runners settle into the 26 miles, they start to feel the need for some fuel and we started to get really busy. There’s an art to handing drinks and snacks out to people as they run past and there is a need for plenty of volunteers to spread out and make space to avoid bottlenecks. This is where it gets interesting, and I enjoyed learning to spot individual runners and anticipate what they are looking for at speed.


As the day wears on and the pain really starts to hit (the athletes…mostly) we had more time to talk to competitors and it really is rewarding being able to give them a bit of a laugh and comfort when they are having to dig so very deep.


I wasn’t able to stay to the end but I hear it’s amazing when the last athlete goes across the line, with everyone cheering them on. The whole event has a great atmosphere and volunteering is both fun and rewarding, a great way to give back to the sport!


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