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Ironman still recruiting volunteers for race day

July 20, 2016
Editorial , Lake Placid News

We felt a nervous stirring in our stomachs, like butterflies before a performance, when reading emails from volunteer coordinators this week still recruiting - desperately it seems - volunteers for the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon race on Sunday, July 24.

It takes an army of volunteers to hold the race, and we encourage anyone who has the time to take several hours to help out. Although you can volunteer all day, many shifts are only four hours long at the aid stations.

Ironman is Lake Placid's biggest event of the year, and it requires more assistance than any other. In all, about 3,000 volunteers are needed for every aspect of the race, which features 2,500 athletes competing in a 2.4-mile swim on Mirror Lake, 116-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run.

Article Photos

Volunteers help at a past Ironman Lake Placid aid station.
(Photo provided)

"The volunteers are the single most important element for every race in every community," Ironman Lake Placid Volunteer Director Sue Cameron told the Lake Placid News in May. "Volunteering for an Ironman triathlon is a life-changing experience for both the volunteer experience and as a witness to one of the most grueling challenges people can ask their bodies to do. It's exhilarating, exhausting, fun and inspirational all at the same time."

Volunteers are needed for setup, cleanup, registration and informational services. They also have direct contact with the athletes on race day, starting with body markers at 4:30 a.m. before the swim starts at 6:10 a.m. and ending at midnight at the finish line at the Olympic Speedskating Oval.

"Because they love it so much, many volunteers spend the entire day going from area to area, giving their time to help these amazing athletes complete their individual challenges," Cameron said. "We hear from athletes time and time again about specific volunteers who helped them make it to the finish line, and how they wouldn't have made it without the individual encouragement a particular volunteer gave them."

Volunteers are given their own VIP treatment. They get an Ironman T-shirt, food and their own party after the race with prizes and awards. Those who want to race in Ironman Lake Placid next year get to sign up before anyone else, on the morning after the race.

A sampling of the possible volunteer opportunities for race day are listed below.

-Aid stations for bike and run

-Certified lifeguards

-Licensed ham radio operators

-Course marshals


-Medical tent

-Athlete food

-Massage tent

-Volunteer tent

-Tear down crew (11 p.m. - 2 a.m.)


To find out more about participating with a group, email the volunteer director at Or sign up online at



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