Brian and I aren’t necessarily in the top physical condition required to complete a grueling 75-kilometer adventure race. However, evidently we can handle standing around in a beautiful, wooded area of West Cork, Ireland and scanning athletes in at their first checkpoint. That’s how we spent a recent morning while volunteering at the Skibbereen Charity Adventure Race (SCAR).
The nonprofit event donated 100% of the registration fees to two local charities, the Cork Association for Autism and the Skibbereen Lions Club. Each of the three levels of competition required racers to complete varying distances of trail runs, biking courses, and sea kayaking routes. We started our day early at the beautiful home of Anne and Mark Townshend, gathering with the other race stewards to get our assignments and chat over coffee.
The Expert Level of SCAR began on Main Street in our little town of Castletownshend. These athletes would spend their day doing 21 kilometers of trail running, 54 kilometers of biking, and 1 kilometer of sea kayaking.
After watching the start of the race, Brian and I hopped in the car and drove to our designated spot at the furthest point out in Rineen Woods. Scanning the competitors’ wristbands into the logging device assures race officials each racer completes the entire course. We were positioned at the top of a steep and muddy trail hill, so by the time the racers reached us they were more focused on breathing they they were on stopping to tag in. After all racers passed our segment, we cheered them on at other points on the course and then watched some of them come in at the finish line.
Over 400 people registered for the adventure race, and dozens of sponsors contributed funding and supplies. At the awards reception that evening, the two benefiting charities received substantial checks totaling over €18,0000.
As always in Ireland, the people we met during this event were fun and welcoming. The great time we had volunteering at SCAR gives us even more reason to be sad when our time here in West Cork ends next week.