So this week’s edition of 52 New Things was a surprise instalment as I was given the opportunity through the track and field club to volunteer at a really cool meet: The Pan America Combined Events Cup!
Week 22: Volunteer at a Major Track and Field Meet
So a few weeks back, one of the Dad’s of the track and field club asked if I was free the first weekend in June. I said I probably would be and on Wednesday said my schedule was clear to help out on Saturday. Of course Saturday would be day number 3 of being at a track meet all day – and it was hot and sunny, again. I came home from Belleville the night before at 11pm, and by 6:30am I was up and ‘at em again to head to the track.
The Pan America Combined Events Cup is a decathlon and Heptathlon event. A decathlon Heptathlon are a two day meet where athletes compete in a number of events (10 and 7). It is a gruelling day as the athletes literally go from one event to the next. They also compete in a wide variety of events; the men compete in a 100m sprint and a 1500m run – as a former sprinter, running a 1500m would scare the beejesus out of me. Jessica Zelinka and Damian Warner are two Canadians known for the Heptathlon and Decathlon. In this meet there were athletes from Team Canada, Team USA, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic and more. There were a few Olympians on the roster, but most I’m assuming will be on the Olympic team during the 2016 Summer Games. There were also a number of local athletes competing, including my assistant school-team coach! My role was to basically follow the decathletes around during their events.
The first event on the track was the 100m sprints, and I helped gather their baskets. But really, it was super cool just to be right by the blocks to watch them start. The next event was the long jump, and I was put on Wind Gauge duty. Basically every time an athlete jumped, I would press a button that would measure the Wind. If a record was broken, the wind gauge measurement would be looked at to see if the jump had legal wind or not. Nobody broke the record 🙂
After Long Jump, the group headed towards the Shot Put. Here, the official told me I would be calling out names and being the second recorder of measurements – grrreeatttt. Although I had zero problem with the Spanish names, the French names gave me a problem, so for names I couldn’t pronounce, I just used their first name.
After the shot put we had a bit of a break, then went to the high jump. The high jump doesn’t really require many volunteers so I was just able to watch. But – at 2:30, the 100m invitational (not part of the Cup) was on, and there was a special treat with that race – Justyn Warner, the 100m sprinter who represented Canada in the Olympics would be running. The rumours were flying in the AM that he would be running, so I confirmed it via Twitter and the kids who were volunteering were all excited. That is probably why at 2:30 not a single teen volunteer was around at that point 😉 Justyn was great and autographed some shoes and took pictures with the teens. I did not meet him this time though as I was kinda busy when he was greeting people.
At about 4pm I was done, because the sun was getting to me and I had not seen Max for a few days. I packed up and went home. The next day I did take Max to the track so he could run around and see what was happening. Of course, as soon as he saw the Men throwing the discus, he wanted to join in. Sorry, Max, not yet….
That is this week’s edition of 52 new Things!