Volunteer, and it will CHANGE YOU!

About 25 years ago, I was dating a guy who was very involved in the sport of triathlon. I remember thinking there was no way I could ever do a triathlon because I wasn’t a strong swimmer. One weekend he was participating in a triathlon so I decided to volunteer at the event. I remember handing out water at the aid station and seeing all these people of different ages, body shapes, fitness levels, some with physical ailments and disabilities and it completely inspired me.

That’s how inspiration works – if you see someone else doing something, it makes you think “Hey, if they can do it, so can I!” 

20140720_0208-2And that was the start of my love for the sport of triathlon.  I signed up for a swimming program, got a coach and learned how to swim. I’m still not a super-fast swimmer but I can swim for a very long time without feeling like I’m going to die! I did my first triathlon shortly after and I was hooked.  That summer I immersed myself in the triathlon community and did an event every weekend! I love the energy and surrounding myself with people who are committed, disciplined, determined, focused and reaching for their best. I’m a true believer in the statement “you are who you hang with” so if you want to be inspired then surround yourself with people who are inspirational and challenging themselves. Soon you will find yourself doing the same!

We regularly encourage our clients to volunteer at all different types of events because we know it will inspire them and cause them to step out of their comfort zone.

And the research backs us up. Recent studies have established a strong relationship between volunteering and health:

….those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who don’t volunteer.

So not only will volunteering give you personal satisfaction knowing you’re helping others and strengthening your community, you’ll be inspired and your overall health with benefit!


We recently started a program for our events to provide people really fun volunteering opportunities while raising funds for important community causes.

Here’s how it works:

  • We host multiple runs and triathlons and need about 100 volunteers per event to support the athletes. Volunteers may act as course marshals so athletes don’t get lost or hand out water so they stay hydrated or help distribute medals or food when they finish.
  • People can sign up individually to help out or they can sign up as a group and actually benefit a non-profit.
  • Basically, school teams, clubs, churches or non-profits can volunteer at an event in return for a donation to their program. Or a business can sign up and use the volunteering opportunity as a fun team-building event and choose a cause that we would donate to on their behalf. We will donate $20 to their cause per 4 hour volunteer shift. 

We need tons of volunteers at our events so some groups will work multiple 4 hours shifts and have students/parents/teachers involved and make it a big fundraiser for their program.

For example, let’s say a group could rally 30 people to volunteer x $20 x 2 shifts = $1200…and if they helped out over 2 days, they could double it for $2400. Some clubs love it because they can get all their fundraising for the year done in one weekend! It is a really fun and inspirational way to volunteer, support local athletes and fund raise at the same time.

Events we offer volunteer opportunities for include:

June 6 & 7thBlue Lake Triathlon at Blue Lake Park in Troutdale, OR
July 11thHagg Lake Triathlon in Forest Grove, OR
July 17-19thColumbia River Triathlon & Weekend Fitness Festival, Vancouver WA
August 1 & 2 – Mid Summer & Wahine Triathlon, Blue Lake Park in Troutdale, OR
October 11thGirlfriends Run for a Cure

If you are interested in these volunteering & fundraising opportunities please email volunteer@whyracingevents.com or call 360.574.7292 asap to reserve your spots. We still have fundraising space available for our next event June 6 & 7th – come and help out, make some money and benefit your own health all at the same time!

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs.  She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson.  She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com

Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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