Sunday, September 27, 2009

Staples and chips

Today at our Pro PT 5k in Middletown we used our chip timing system for the 4th time. The difference was that today we placed our timing mats at the start of the race so runners received both gun time and chip times. I have all the confidence in the world in my business partner Ed Hartwell and put him to the test today. The start was about a quarter mile from the finish line. This meant that we had to pick up the timing mats and move to finish line in timely fashion and then re set up before the first runner came across the line. We are talking about 8 minutes to set up at the finish line. Set up went better than expected. The first runner came across the mats and was chip timed. As a back up I continued to use my time machine to click in runners but instead of stapling tags on my scoreboards i placed them on a spindle. No staples needed today. The age group results were posted in 40 minutes. I asked Ed to go ahead and print out the complete list of finishers even though there were a handful of walkers on route. This caused an issue with the software and we had to hand enter the last few walkers. A call to the software developer should solve this problem. Our next chip timed race will be at the Run for Rett 5k at Frawley Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 4th. I will leave the score boards home. No staples needed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Power of the safety vest

I keep a safety vest in my car at all times. At the Miles for Melanoma 5k on the Riverfront I used my vest acting as a traffic cop. Two days before this 5k at Dravo Plaza we found out that 4 to 5,000 Muslims would be attending a celebration of Eid-al-Fitr at the Chase Center. Depending on the phase of the moon Saturday night this ceremony would be Sunday at 8:30 am or on Monday. Riverfront Development Corp. and the Chase Center never warned us about this conflict. Either way cars filled with runners and walkers and cars with Muslims were all trying to get to the same location. Cars backed up going nowhere. So with vest on I stood at intersection on Justison Street at the new Big Fish directing cars to Frawley Stadium parking lot rather than to lot at Dravo Plaza. I got my cell phone out and called my connection at the Wilm. Police to let him know that traffic was a nightmare. At the same time a Wilm. Police car comes up from behind. I said, "hey...I got Gordie (Sgt. Transue) on the phone" and handed him my cell. I am still directing traffic and the cops take off with my cell phone. Five minutes later they come back and tell me to call Gordie back. I asked, "can you help me out here?" They took off and went down to the intersection at Beech St. and Justison to control traffic flow. Next thing i know a Muslim dressed in traditional garb comes running at me yelling that his people need to get to the Chase Center for service and he wanted them to go straight to Dravo Plaza for parking. I told him that Frawley Stadium has more open spots since the runners took up the parking spaces at Dravo. He would not listen and jumped in front of me like some crazy man and starting directing cars to Dravo. One thing i have learned in life....don't get involved and don't argue so I said ..."adios amigo" and headed back to Dravo to get ready for our 9am start. What a way to start my day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Main Street, Newark, DE

A busy day yesterday. Physical therapy in the morning.....meetings all afternoon. Met with folks who are organizing the 5k at St Anthony's in the Hills at 3 pm. The route we were going to run had to be changed. The last time we ran this 5k was back in 1988. Doug White will remeasure in time for Saturday's race. Then off to Grottos Pizza on Main Street in Newark to meet with managers about the Run Eat Run 2 miler on Oct. 4th. We discussed the route, volunteers, set up, and awards. Jon Clifton was with me and he took these folks on a tour of the course (he measured) and showed them where the pizza truck would be set up and where volunteers were needed. In the mean time I walked down Main Street to meet with Ryan Germain at Cafe Gelato to discuss his 10 miler on Nov. 1st. It was the first time I was in his restaurant. I was very impressed. Chip and Doris Bixler will handle this race for me due to conflict of schedules. I then walked back to Grottos to wait for Jon to pick me up for our next meeting down Main Street at Fusion Fitness to discuss the Main Street Mile on Oct. 3rd. Sitting there I was amazed at how many students were walking and talking on cell phones. Just a sign of the times. At my meeting at Fusion we decided on two starts. One at 8 am for open men and women and one for elites at 8:15. A very productive day on Main Street.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wake up call

It's Saturday the 12th of Sept. Seven Sisters event at the Bottle & Cork. My 33rd Bottle & Cork event in a row. My alarm goes off at 4:00 am. Coffee, weather channel and Sports Illustrated and out the door to set up route. Field chalk for the turns......spray chalk on the straight a ways. I have all the mile markers placed in order that I was putting them out. In Henlopen Acres I use yellow directional arrows on metal stakes to put in the ground. (No chalk allowed). Then I placed traffic cones along Route 1. I usually delegate this job to Doug White but he was in Montreal with the Wellness Community. It was a bit scary that time of morning. Only saw two other vehicles. One a bread truck and one a garbage truck. I saw one "Walk of Shame." (young babe heading home at 5:45 am with pillow under arm after a long night out). When i got to Bellevue Street at Bayard Street I breathed a sigh of relief. The foot of water which was there the day before was now gone so no need to re route course. We had a horrible storm Thursday night. Many areas of Dewey were flooded out. I went back to pick up Barb and on to the Cork we went. Set up tables, chairs, water table, registration table. All in 15 minutes with the help of the Cork staff. Beebe volunteers showed up on time at 6:30 am and registration opened on time at 6:45 am. The weather was overcast and cool. Not your typical Cork weather. Sad part of the day was saying goodbye to our friends we have made at the Seven Sister series. Kind of like camp. We hug each other good bye and can't wait till next years series. At noon Barb and I sat and drank a few beers at a local bar and watched Penn State kick butt over Syracuse. All in a days work. I feel jet lagged.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Conflicting events

I received an email from a friend of mine to let me know that the ALS organization out of Phila. would be staging their annual walk on Saturday, Sept. 12th. No problem here i thought. I continued to read the email when it said on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk starting at 9 am. Oh we go again. Our 33rd Bottle & Cork ten miler runs the length of the boardwalk and the leaders would hit the 6 mile mark which is on the boardwalk at Rehoboth Ave around 8:30ish. But the middle of the pack runners would have some serious issues getting through the crowd of walkers and wheel chairs. I called City Manager Greg Ferese of Rehoboth and asked him why would he give out two permits for the use of the boardwalk on the same day? "I made a mistake" was his answer. The ALS folks did not realize that the Cork run is always the Saturday after Labor Day. I called the person in charge of the ALS walk. I always try and work out a compromise if possible. I asked him if he could move his walk back one hour. "No way since it gets too hot for those in wheelchairs>" I said how about I move my start up 15 min to 7:45 am and ALS move a half hour back to 9:30 am. We struck a compromise. Hopefully this will allow all runners to get through this portion of the race without any problems. One more issue to deal with. The boardwalk is going to be under construction from Laurel street to Prospect Street starting Tues. Sept. 8th. But I will not know if we have to detour off the boards till I come down on Friday. Just in case Doug White re measured so course will still be certified. I wish the ALS folks all the best with their walk. I just hope they move their event back one week next year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pizza Run

Runners love to eat. Now lets see if you like to run, eat, and then run. Grotto Pizza called me to set up a meeting for an event they would like to stage. While driving to meet with them I was thinking how cool to have a race that Grotto's sponsor. Runners and walkers can do a 5k then pig out on pizza and beer. But this is a race like no other. Only two miles as a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House of DE set for Sunday, October 4th at 11 am. We will start at Academy Street at Main Street and run down Academy to the new trail. Once you get there you either have to (1) turn around and head back to finish (open category), (2) eat a Jr. pizza, or
(3) go for it and eat a large pizza (the He Man division). Grotto staff will handle this and I can't imagine how many can eat a whole large pie and then run another mile. But if I did not have to work this race I would be at the starting line in the He Man division. Just to fill you in (no pun here) Krispy Kreme donuts has a run in N. Carolina where you have to eat a dozen donuts on route. And they get over 1,000 runners and walkers. I will delegate tearing tags for this one. I would like to keep my shoes clean.