Countdown: 16 days to go - Everyone there? The elite tents at the start and finish
The top athletes enjoy both at the start- and the finish area a special attention, as they have in both areas so-called “top athletes tents” where they can prepare, change and where they are looked after. On race day 13 volunteers take care of the athletes before and after the race. Allowed into the elite tents are not only the top athletes but also their coaches and managers, and sometimes selected journalists. The volunteers tell the athletes 15 minutes before the start on a regular basis the current time, so that everybody can get ready for the start in time. The reason for being late is mostly the visit of the toilet just before the start. About 10 minutes ahead of the start, the athletes are led by the volunteers into the starting area. Once there, they are handed over to the volunteers at the start.
Now the team of the Top-Athletes volunteers are cleaning up the tents, as they will torn down after the start procedure. The clothing bags of the top athletes are collected and brought directly to the finish are in to the finish elite tent. In order that nothing gets lost or is missed, the athletes have to close the bag and give it to the volunteers, who will check their names off a list. Once all runners have started and the tents are clean, the whole team moves to the finish area, which is only a few meters away from the start area.
There, the crew is waiting for the top athletes to finish. They prepare the tent with drinks, snacks, heat sheets, etc. Even the bags are being sorted, so that the athletes can get quickly their stuff after arriving at the elite tent to get dressed. Once all the top athletes have finished and are done with the press at the mixed zone, the volunteers escort them back to the shuttle transportation service. The top-three finishers have more duties. They have to be not only at the victory ceremony, but they also have to go to doping control and to the press conference. Once everybody has left the elite tents, the elite team once more cleans up the tents and then they are done with their job.
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