No. 15 – Stewarding for SCAR

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.
Prerace meeting in a beautiful spot
Bikes ready to go

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.
Steward at the Skibbereen Charity Adventure Race
Start of SCAR Expert Level 2014
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.
A smiling SCAR competitor
Tagging in at SCAR
Finish of SCAR 2014

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.

About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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  1. Our SCAR race of West Cork may have ticked on of your 100 ways to change the world. As a competitor, I’d like to thank you and all fellow volunteers on the day and we are honored that you chose this event. Good luck with the rest of your journey. I will be following your progress.

  2. Fair play to yee , i did the expert course and really appreciate your efforts and I wish yee all the best with your adventures around the world.
    Go raibh mile Maith agat.
    Donncha o Brien

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