Becoming an IronVolunteer at the Miami IRONMAN 70.3


Catharsis volunteers assisted athletes at the finish line by giving out much needed water and beverages, placing their well deserved finisher medals around their necks, and removing their timing chips.

On Sunday, October 28, 2012, the staff of Catharsis volunteered at the Miami Ironman. Miami’s famous triathlon, consisted of  a 1.2 mile swim course in Biscayne Bay, a 56-mile bike course through downtown, and a 13.1-mile course in which they ran through the laid out path through Miami Beach, surrounded by lots of spectators.

With racers from all over the globe competing, spectators were curious as to who would win this year’s Ironman. The staff of Catharsis was lucky enough to be given the chance to volunteer at such a spectacular event. CGHS volunteers with red shirts were running all around the Bayside area and were assigned jobs in relation to the finish line like upholding security, giving the racers their “2012 Finisher” medals, and handing refreshments to the athletes as they completed the painful yet thrilling race.

“[Volunteering] felt amazing because the racers were so grateful for the services we provided,” said Nathaly Fierro, a Catharsis student volunteering at the event.

Ms. Betances organized the volunteering for the Catharsis staff after being contacted by the race organizers who wanted to give students an opportunity to help out and earn community service hours.

“Right away I knew it was something I wanted to do. An ironman is an amazing competition that proves just how much we can accomplish when we set our minds to something. Volunteering is difficult, but the reward is always worth it. I am so glad I was able to get my students involved, even if I did have my arms elbow deep in ice for most of the day, while cooling down water to hand out to the racers,” Ms. Betances said.

Most of those that raced could not hold in their excitement as they crossed that long awaited finish line. The smiles on their faces filled everyone with joy and a sense that anything was possible, some even began to cry in disbelief. Each person that passed through that finish line either had so much adrenaline that they danced their way through, or the pain in their muscles finally kicked in as they slowed down.

Being there to watch Terenzo Bozzone; who came in first along with Jan Van Berkel and Horst Reichel, who came in second and third; was overall a very inspirational moment. It was great to be able to see people that train so hard and give their all to compete in events such as these. It was especially amazing watching the women that were racing, like Leanda Cave, whose won first place in the Professional Women’s portion of the competition. Ordinary people like these are the ones that put maximum dedication towards achieving their goals. Even those who didn’t finish in the top 5 must still be proud of all they managed to accomplish when they decided push for more.

“I believe that these racers only think the crowd cares about who’s in top 5, but the truth is, these racers are what may inspire others to accomplish goals in their lives that seem impossible, but can be achieved,” said Heidy Alvarez a fellow CGHS IronVolunteer.