2017 Volunteered at the Austin 10/20
As a Texas 4000 rider, I know that Saturdays are for T4K. But this week, Sunday was also for T4K. This past Sunday, the day after the team’s first 90 mile ride, I woke up and volunteered at the Austin 10/20, a unique 10 mile race with live music stages every ½ mile. That’s where the name comes from – the race is 10 miles and there are 20 different bands playing all along the course. I was volunteering with three others: Matt, Katie, and Natalie. Our titles as volunteers was “Lead Cyclists.” To be honest, at the time, I had no idea what the job of a lead cyclist involved. I arrived at the Domain – where the race was – at 7AM. I quickly found the other T4K volunteers, and collectively we found Peter, who had been referred to us by several different people as the man in charge. He told us that we would be the ones leading the race, so that the runners know where to turn and they have someone to follow. He explained that we would be staying with the elite runners and making sure they’re not alone.
Before the race started, we were all a little nervous. We didn’t know how quickly the race would start, how fast the runners would be running, and were afraid that we would lead the runners astray. But before we knew it it was 8AM and it was time for the race to start. The starting bell had rung and all of us sped out onto the course. Initially, all four of us took off too fast and had to slow it way down to get back in front of the runners. We all started biking together, but as the race continued the packs began to separate. I stayed with a male elite runner, while other stayed with the females or with the winner (who finished 10 miles in 46 minutes, a race record). The best part of the event, however, were the bands. There was all different types of music, and all of the bands were friendly and waved as we passed by. It made the ride super fun, even though it was windy and dreary outside – granted, I wasn’t the one actually running the 10 miles.
The 10/20 race was one of my favorite volunteer events. It allowed me to use my biking skills as well as help out with a race, all while listening to different bands. It was a fun way to start of the Saturday and spend some time helping out the Austin community!
Written by 2017 Rider Sam Gorny