Ironman 70.3 North American Championship is back and the race needs your help.

Ironman is unique because it involves multiple athletic disciplines combined in a single race. That means that competitors transition (T! means transition station 1) from the 1.2-mile swim to the 56-mile bike ride and then the (T2)  to the 13.1 mile half-marathon run.

Here's the thing about volunteering:You don't get paid. You don't accolades. You don't get famous. You don't even get trade or store credit.

Volunteers may get a shirt or two, some other cheap swag and they'll have a volunteer appreciation dinner after the race.

But what they do get can't be measured by weight or currency.

Here's a list of reasons to volunteer (

  1. Be a Hometown Hero – Jenny Salsbury, St. George -- I’m just excited that St. George is hosting this event and I want to volunteer. I know they need a lot of people. I volunteered for the half IRONMAN in September also. They need lots of volunteers and I’m grateful that it’s here. I want to help out so they can keep having events here. I feel really proud [of it being in St. George] because it’s so beautiful and I know that most of the world has never even heard of us. So yeah, it’s awesome to be able to share this with the world.”
  2. Spend Time with a Friend – Heather Hall, St. George -- I want to help out and do it with my friend Jenny. I know when you’re putting on any event, there are so many details and it can’t go off and be successful unless you have a lot of people to help.”
  3. Spread the Greater Zion Spirit – Joe Howard, St. George -- I’m grateful to live here, and just so glad to see other people able to come and visit for a short time. God created this most beautiful place on earth — one of the top places in the world to share with everyone and that’s why people are here and we’re glad to see them come here. I really like seeing people happy when they’re here at Zion and the other parks. [My wife and I] help people out all the time when we’re out hiking because we know the trails and that’s all we do. I hope they have a great time and enjoy it as much as we do.”
  4. Cheer on Your Favorite Athlete – Tanya Felix, North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- “I’m here volunteering today because of my husband’s racing. It’s his 10th IRONMAN. I’m doing two shifts today. We both race, but typically, he does a lot more than me. So I volunteered for every single one of his races.”
  5. Be Bigger Than Yourself – Alan Reighard, Salt Lake City -- “I wanted to give back to the community and help them organize a great event. I felt like I was a part of something big and meaningful to so many people. One favorite part was helping the riders, interacting with them, and seeing how appreciative they were of all our work. The camaraderie with the other volunteers was awesome also.”
  6. Help Someone Achieve Big Goals – Deanna Howard, St. George -- I’m volunteering today because I think it’s a fabulous event. It’s an absolutely beautiful venue. May is one of the most beautiful months in St. George for weather. And I mean, just have stunning scenery. I worked in special education for a lot of years before I retired. And it gives me a similar feeling of just helping someone accomplish their goals. Somebody who has just worked so, so very hard for so long, and is kind of seeing a dream come true.”
  7. Bond with Your Work Team – Sydnie Fulton, Salt Lake City -- ”[Our company] got a group together to volunteer for the event. It was a bit of a rush being at the Bike Personal Needs station, racing to get the athletes their bags to help them on their way. I had a sense of pride and excitement. I knew that my timeliness and excitement to help impacted their racing experience. I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself. I was inspired by the athletes and the racers.”
  8. Find Inspiration from the Athletes – Faith Havoc, Washington -- My husband and I first did the bike catching actually in Kona. This is the second or third time in St. George that I have volunteered, usually for the bike catching. I do it because I’m inspired by these athletes. They are absolutely incredible. And I think it’s giving back. They rode their bike about a block away from my home this morning. I saw a lot of the pros, I rang my bell, and I got a lot of thumbs up and smiles. I think they appreciate all of us who volunteer, they’re very appreciative and they bring so much to the community. I mean, you know, we earn millions of dollars from them coming here through restaurants and hotels, and it’s just a great experience for us. And for them. They really love coming back here.”
  9. Practice What You Preach –  Jonathan Smithgall, Salt Lake City -- “[I work in the tourism industry] and I feel like the evolutionary step in advertising is more than simply attracting new visitors. It’s also responsible for educating new visitors before they arrive. In the same light, media agencies are responsible for more than just driving tax collection in communities, they also should give back.”
  10. Take Part in an International Event – Val Rasmussen, Salt Lake City -- “I felt excitement and pride to help show off my home state to the world. Witnessing thousands of volunteers jump in to support the athletes and each other was powerful. After my shift, I walked around downtown St. George to watch the bike finish, the marathon start and the finish line. The vibe was magical — fans cheering, bike breaks squealing, music playing, names and hometowns being called out, volunteers handing out water or parking bikes.”

One thing that seems to ring true every time. When volunteers are asked if they'd do it again, invariably the answer is yes.

To volunteer, CLICK HERE

LOOK: 20 Fascinating Photos From the First Modern Olympic Games in 1896

To celebrate the history of international sports cooperation, Stacker took a look back at that groundbreaking event in Athens, when the modern Olympics were born in 1896. Keep reading to learn more about the athletes, spectators, and sports at that iconic event.

Gallery Credit: Caitlin PenzeyMoog


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