Last call for Granfondo volunteers

Volunteers are still needed to help with the Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan.

Volunteers attend to an injured cyclist at the finish of last year's Prospera Axel Marckx Gran Fondo Okanagan. Volunteers are still needed for this year's event.

Volunteers attend to an injured cyclist at the finish of last year's Prospera Axel Marckx Gran Fondo Okanagan. Volunteers are still needed for this year's event.

If you like to get up close and personal with some elite, international athletes or people just out for a fun cycling tour, Susan Robinson has just the job for you.

Volunteers are still needed to help with the annual riding of the Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan.

While there is no monetary renumeration, according to those who volunteer, the personal rewards are payment enough.

“This is my sixth year and I love it,” said Ruby Peterson, who is now a team captain. “I like being where the action is. I like seeing the athletes come in and the excitement and the energy they provide. I didn’t want to be in a back room or an office or anything like that. I wanted to be there to help athletes and make it a better experience for them.”

Each year as many as 500 people are needed for a variety of tasks from registration, road control and medical services for the 2,500

participants.

“Seriously, without people volunteering their time to help us, there is no way this could take place,” said Robinson. “Right now we are looking for people for Sunday in the park (Gyro Park finish area). It’s a ton of fun in the park for sure.”

Shifts are generally three to four hours, however when Peterson finishes hers, the last thing she wants to do is go home.

“Are you kidding? It’s sort of addictive, if I’m not at the finish line, I’m on the side of the road cheering them on,” she said.

“The nice thing is the athletes really appreciate what we do to make the experience a positive one for them and you contribute to that energy by being a volunteer.”

Anyone interested in helping can go to www.granfondoaxelmerckx.com/register/ or susan@granfondoaxelmerckx.com