Volunteers Keeping Ironman Triathletes Safe

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Nearly 3,000 triathletes took to the beach, highways and pavement for the 15th annual Ironman Florida.

Keeping all the athletes safe during the all day event took planning and a lot of volunteers.

Water was vital to keeping the nearly 3,000 Ironman Florida triathletes going.

Handing out water to cyclists pedaling by is harder than most might think.

Ashanti Waiters a first time volunteer said, "They say you're supposed to run out in front of them and I'm kind of nervous about that, but hopefully I get it right."

Organizers say they have thousands of water bottles on hand for the triathletes.

Each station was given about three pallets of cases of water.

Meantime, Brandon Mauney, a fourth year volunteer has all the kinks worked out.

"It's all about acceleration and stop. You can't just stick it out there and hope that they grab it," he said.

The cyclists are zooming by nearly 20 miles per hour.

Mauney said, "Most of the time as fast as they are moving if they go to grab the bottle of water or the piece of food, then they just end up slapping it out of your hand."

Saturday afternoon, Panama City Beach Police Officers were at the corner of 79 and Back Beach Road making sure the cyclists crossing were safe.

Back on the course, organizers say getting enough volunteers to help hand out water, power drinks and fruit gets easier every year.

Race Volunteer, John Mcavoy said, "They are begging to sign up. They enjoy coming out here it's no effort at all to get volunteers to get out here and support this event."

Volunteers say each charities make about $500 from this event.

Officials say the last runner will likely cross the finish line around midnight.