Anyone interested in volunteering for Louisville Ironman 2011? Water safety and runners aid station spot available with Viking Canoe Club. This will be our clubs 6th year working with them. It always proves to be inspiring and fun.
Dates are: Saturday August 27th: "Saturday Kayak Safety" Sunday August 28th: "Sunday Kayakers" The Kayak sign up : the password is VIKING (case sensitive!). Sat 9/28 sign up http://www.doitsports.com/volunteer/join-pr... Sun 9/29 sign up http://www.doitsports.com/volunteer/join-pr... Also: Runners aid station sign up Password " VIKING" case sensitive. http://www.doitsports.com/volunteer/join-pr... As incentive Todd will try to feed everyone breakfast, caffinate those who need it, get t-shirts, and the Vikings will donate a big chunk of $$$ to American Whitewater. more to come.. meanwhile you can direct your questions to me.
There will be an after party Monday night. Everyone who helps is welcome to come. You will learn the location of this party after the event. Prizes, food, drinks!!
You must sign up on the IronMan website to do these events.
Allow me to start with a big thank you for volunteering. I know the events are early on a weekend, and free coffee, doughnuts, and a t-shirt are small payments for your time and efforts.
If by this point you think this message has reached you in error, and you are not volunteering for Ironman Louisville water safety, please disregard the rest of this message.
I want to list the changes to this years event first for the veterans who will probably not read this lengthy message, but pay attention!!! We have some big changes!
#1 We are going to have designated areas on the course with zone Captains . Only the zone captain or myself should locate you on the course , anyone else asking you to relocate should be ignored unless they are with police or Ironman course diretors!! Your zone may not be assigned until race day, but you will get on course location assigned by your zone captain .
#2 There is a non-mandatory safety training for open water kayak rescue on Thursday August 18th 6-8 p.m. ! Sorry about the short notice folks. Location is the launch ramp at the rowing club. This is the same launch for race day . If you don't have a boat, or can't get one on location, please feel free to show up and listen from the ramp.
#3 Ironman T-shirts will once again Identify us as volunteers and not "visitor boaters" . So law enforcement can keep non volunteers off the course. If you don't want to wear the shirt, tie it around your head, boat, paddle etc. I will have the shirt size you request on hand when you sign in day of race/ practice swim.
#4 All athlete extractions from the course will be made on the outside of the course!! This can be tricky if there is a lot of swim traffic, and you have an athlete on the inside. If you are dealing with an emergency don't delay crossing the course carefully, if an athlete is conceding during heavy traffic, toss the extra life jacket on them and wait for a large opening. Of course don't forget to pass their race number off to someone who can radio it in.
- Our purpose on the water is mainly to provide our eyes and ears to any athlete that is in distress. This is usually a friendly bow or stern to grab onto for a quick rest, a life vest to float on wile waiting to be extracted from the course, and at worst pointing the search and rescue divers to the last known location of a missing athlete. I'm starting off with this heavy scenario because I hope to never have it occur. Wile the swim portion of Ironman is the only historically lethal portion in the events history, no one has died on the course. That tragedy has been left to the hospitals and motorized vessels of EMS, after a coronary event, not drowning!
I don't intend to scare anyone from assisting the swim portion, this is simply my appeal to focus on the competitors, and of all things LISTEN during the event. Seeing someone in distress in the middle of a hundred swimmers is probably much harder than hearing the call for help. Other swimmers may help an athlete in distress as well.
- With that out of the way let's get to the details for this years event.
-Sat practice swim volunteers meet at the base of Joe's Crab Shack no later than 7:20 am. There will be free parking under I64 just past the gate and to the right. Breakfast goodies, water, coffee etc, served. The practice itself is from 8am-10am, any swimmers in the water past 10a.m. will be in big trouble.
The practice course extends from the race day exit steps to the Kennedy (I64) bridge, no swimmers allowed past that point. We will review hand signals etc that morning. Chips will be used to monitor the number of swimmers in and out of the practice course. The short course is easy to spread out evenly on so no need for Zone captains on Sat.
-Sun event volunteers meet at the Rowing Club, at the back of the Yellow parking lot, of the Riverfront park system. This lot is across from Stoplight Liquors, and there is a new rowing facility between Tumbleweed and our lot. Sign ups begin at 6:00am, I will make final announcements around 6:20 and all boats should be launched by 6:40. The Pro athletes will start at 6:50 and the age groups at 7am.
Breakfast goods coffee,etc served.
-Everyone in boats must wear a lifejacket (PFD) and carry an extra for any athlete who may need one!
- Anyone who needs gear (boat, PFD, Paddle, etc) let me know. I have started a list an we have never run out of loaner gear, but you must let me know what you need before the event.
-If you do not get a special assignment on the course, you will be told what zone you are in and who your zone leader is then you will be located on the course and possibly adjusted by the zone captain or myself.
- Be aware that no matter how good of a spot you are holding on the course seems, myself or other zone captains may need to move you about the course to fill gaps etc.
** Course Communication / Signaling These are the same as previous years, but please review them. We will cover them again in the parking lots before launching.
1. Arm raised and steady- This means assistance is needed, and everyone is conscious.
2. Arm raised and waving side to side - This indicates that the swimmer is unconscious and immediate assistance is needed. ( hopefully the other hand is holding onto the athlete or the life jacket wrapped around the athlete).
3. Both arms in an X overhead- Indicates missing swimmer from the surface and will activate the dive team, try to have a good idea where the swimmer was last seen
4. Patting the top of your head- This can be a question, or answer and it means everything is under control, no emergency.
5. Whistles - hopefully everyone will have one (not absolutely required) . If you hear or make one blast it means give me your attention. Three sharp blasts indicates an emergency.
-Signals 1-3 can be made with the paddle as well for better visibility from a distance. Hand signals can be done wile using the whistle.
- Once the race is under way, avoid crossing the column of swimmers unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do need to enter or cross active swimmers, do so in the direction the athletes are swimming. Obviously if a swimmer needs immediate assistance, paddle straight to the athlete, wile trying not to harm others in the process.
- Athletes can use your boat as a temporary rest. It is best not to let them hold on close to the middle of the boat, encourage the ends where hopefully there are handles. Weighting the center may cause the boat to flip over. It is against the rules to give any athlete forward progress on the course, doing so could cause them to be disqualified.
- If you find yourself capsized, and cannot roll back to the surface, don't panic (you've got the life jacket on right?). Try to keep your boat and other gear away from the swimmers, and either swim to a shallow place to get reset, or someone will be along to assist you.
- Swimmers may stray from the course at any time. Some areas of the course (like the turn area) can have several swimmers off line at any given time. Signaling the athlete(s) and directing them back on course is best done by banging your paddle on top of your boat, then talking with them. Some athletes will want to "swing wide" at the turn, this is OK but try and keep them within 40 yards of the outside of the buoys. If the swimmer wants to go out farther than that, and they seem to be navigating well, leave them alone to tangle with the course director.
- If any athlete attempts to cut the turn short, and does not respond to several attempts at redirection, please get their race number (in marker on the arm and thigh) and report it to me as soon as possible. The course is open for over 2 hours so if you don't have a good memory or paper and pen, tell others and we will sort it out later.
- You are a volunteer and are not expected to handle athletes who are problematic, verbally abusive etc. Simply try and remember their race number, smile and wave, then signal Ironman officials to handle the situation.
-Once all the swimmers have passed you, your officially done for the day (I should be following the slowest, so hit me with those problem # 's if you have them), but feel free to boat all the way to the finish if you like. We will be running shuttles back to the rowing club. Do remember to bring your boat up to the Crab shack lot sooner than later if you need shuttle, don't want to leave anyone behind.
- The first bikes will return to transition around 11:45 am. We should all be off the river by 10:15 am so plenty of time to help load gear in our cars then for those looking for extra credit can help load trucks full of swim course gear headed to IM Wisconsin ! Just be driving off the lot by the time the first bikes make it back!
-Also remind me if you have lifeguard/ search rescue/ emt training I may have a special location on the course for you.
-Ironman has a closed media policy regarding the race, so if anyone from the media is asking you any questions, please refer them to me or anyone on IM staff.