When Injured, Try Volunteering at the Races

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Volunteering at a race provides a good perspective on what goes into putting on a fun, safe, and successful event. Lawyer Doug Landau is always impressed by the events run by Bristow Tri and Swim (BRATS) and Race Director Kent Barker.

Earlier this month, at the BRATS New Year’s 5K  Doug Landau was seen putting out cones for runners in the frigid weather and wee hours Sunday morning.

Landau showed up at the Sport & Health club in Gainesville, VA in order to help his friend and Race Director Kent Barker, and to say “thank you” in a tangible way for all of the excellent races that BRATS puts on in Bristow, Warrenton and Vint Hill.

While Landau has been a volunteer at the children’s triathlons that are staged at the former Vint Hill base, he volunteered for this road run as he is presently not running at all. Instead the Loudoun/Fairfax injury lawyer is himself starting physical therapy for chondromalacia.

Normally lawyer Landau uses the winter months for longer “base building,” and would be putting in long miles to build up his “base” for the summer competition season. However, those plans have changed in light of recent knee symptomology. Landau has still been working diligently on his swimming form, strength, and core training. Ever the optimist, he hopes to be cleared to resume running soon.

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One of the perks of volunteering at this particular event was the police escort as Landau picked up a mile and a half of  cones at the conclusion of the race!

Landau enjoyed his volunteer experience, especially as he had a police escort. He and the other helpers could be seen after the last runner picking up over a mile and a half of orange cones. One of the good things about this race is that the award ceremony is inside the sport health club gymnasium, so there were real facilities, a place for participants to shower, change, relax, stretch warm-up and cooldown, despite the cold weather.

Ken Barker and his experienced crew put on a number of terrific races including the “salute to the military,” the “summer sizzler,” the Montclair triathlon, children’s races, etc.

Every serious racer should have to volunteer each season, as it is important to see what it’s like from a race volunteer and director’s point of view. Very often directors only hear the complaints, and very few of the compliments, for a well-thought-out and logistically safe event.

It takes a lot of planning behind the scenes to manage a safe, competitive, and enjoyable event for over 400 participants.   Barker pulls it off consistently.  Most participants don’t see all the time, effort, and money that goes into an event well in advance of race day.

Landau also feels it is important for lawyers like him to support sporting events, not just with money and their participation as competitors, but also by giving of their most valuable resource — their time.

Hoping to be back on the starting line soon, and preparing to be on the podium at both the National Championships in Duathlon AND Triathlon, Landau thanks Barker for the experience, and looks forward to seeing his friend again soon.