I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of the Rev3 Florida volunteers, Bobbie Ziemba, who also happens to be a good friend of mine from many years ago. I know how much Rev3 values their volunteers and considers them to be a backbone of the organization. To all you triathletes, as you run past an aid station yell, hey Bobbie, and see if you find her. Oh, and don’t forget to say thank you. Enjoy the conversation.
TWC: How long have you been volunteering at Rev3 races?
Bobbie: Since this is only the second year for the Rev3 here in Venice, this is just the 2nd time I’ve volunteered with them.
TWC: What made you decide to volunteer last year?
Bobbie: I guess one of the main reasons I volunteered last year was the enthusiasm by the Rev3 team at the presentation. Everyone was so friendly and it was going to be a great economic boom for our town.
TWC: Do you get to choose where you would like to volunteer at or are you assigned?
Bobbie: We are given a choice of where we want to volunteer. There are a lot of spots to fill on the day of the race and the day before, putting together packets for the athletes. You have plenty of options.
TWC: Do you volunteer prior to the race or just on race day?
Bobbie: This year I’ll be in my kayak for the practice swim the day before the race and at one of the run aide stations the day of the race. I was at the turn-around for the run last year and it kept us very busy.
TWC: You mentioned that having the race in town is a boom to the community. I would assume both economically & morale-wise?
Bobbie: Yes, definitely. From what I remember, the Rev3 race last year brought about one million dollars into our community. They were very pleased to have Rev3 choose our community again and I hope they feel the same. A lot of people here volunteered last year and I’m assuming they will again this year. It’s just a lot of fun for everyone.
TWC: What makes Rev3 races special?
Bobbie: One of the reasons Rev3 is special is how well organized they are and that they were wiling to give Venice a chance last year when there was a scheduling conflict in Sarasota. And, now here we are for the 2nd year!
TWC: Any memorable moments you can recall from previous races?
Bobbie: Last year, it was around Halloween so a lot of the volunteers were in costumes. I think everyone, including the racers, really enjoyed it. I saw a lot of smiles.
TWC: What’s the best part for you of being a volunteer?
Bobbie: One of the best parts of volunteering is just meeting all of the great people involved and there is always the dream that “maybe one day” that could be me!!
TWC: What would you say are the best areas for either kids or families to volunteer at?
Bobbie: I’m not too sure about the best place for families, but Sharky’s On the Pier and Maxine Barritt Park are where all the festivities will occur the night before the race and will be where the swim starts. Putting together packets the day before the race is certainly something the whole family could participate in.
TWC: What words of encouragement would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering?
Bobbie: Oh, definitely go for it. What’s there to think about? They really can’t do the race without the volunteers, so you’re vital to helping make it a success. Plus, you get to meet a lot of people and just have fun. What could be better?
TWC: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Bobbie: This year the race is a little later in the year, so it should be cooler. I only hope that everyone enjoys Venice and most of all, has a safe race.