|Sunset at Rodeo Beach New Years Eve|
Frankly, I was concerned about the permitting because it hinged on insurance. The permitting ranger was due back in the office on Thursday (yes, 48 hours before start time). Thankfully, when I pulled and cancelled the permit in a meeting with the national park a week earlier due to the announcement that we (Inside Trail) wouldn't be putting on the event, I asked him to hang onto the permit paperwork "just in case", so it was only a matter of paying for it and providing insurance. The USATF came through with the national office employee responsible for stamping the cert. of insurance coming into the office solely to provide her service to us and the permit was "in hand" now. I did have a contingency plan in place with another underwriter ready to cover the event if needed.
By this point, I had already picked up the shirts and awards. I also did a quick inventory of the equipment and went on one of those crazy food shopping excursions in which I spend a few hundred dollars on everything form soda to beef jerky. "Having a party?" the guy at checkout asks. "Yeah, sort of." 400 of my closest friends will be there.
I've never had to whip an event together in such a short, hectic week. But that's not what made the Rodeo Beach event a success, far from it. The participants made the event. The volunteers made the event. Tim Stahler and I just showed up and sort of managed any ripples to keep the event running smoothly.
|Tim Stahler sets up the finish line (apparently with 40:30 left until race start!) Photo Sarah Lavender Smith|
|Me on an hour sleep - not a pretty sight, I agree. Photo Sarah Lavender Smith|
The 20k started 15 mins later on time - CHECK
The 8k started 15 mins after that on time - CHECK
Things seemed to be rolling. Then my phone rang and my Conzelman Rd aid station manager, Ken, was on the other end of the line. In his upbeat, perpetually smiling voice he says, "Hey Tim, it's Ken. The aid station is gone."
Now, having only known Ken for two days, I wondered whether he suffered from some sort of amnesia or something similar, so I, of course, asked, "Are you sure?" "Yep, everything is gone. All they left were your potatoes and sweet potatoes you made." Ken happily reports. Initially, I was slightly hurt that they didn't find my potatoes appealing enough to take.
Quickly, I threw together another full aid station out of the supplies meant for the finish food and pass through aid station at the start/finish and sent the supplies up with Michael (a day-long volunteer who served as shuttle up to the aid stations and store for more goodies). Disaster averted. I'd love to know who would take 200 lbs of supplies, a table, and 15 gallons of water (and leave my potatoes).
The rest of the day was mostly a constant stream of people finishing, a lot of talking, laughing, photos, small fires to stomp out, and anything else to make sure things were in order for the runners.
Tim Stahler handles the timing and had a tough time with the crappy timing software we've been using (after a month of my badgering, we're purchasing the software I've always used in the past) but handled the stress like a pro and was printing out results updates every 15 minutes. It's nice to not have to even think about the finish line other than greeting runners. And the runners were amazing. Smiles were abundant and the kind compliments really made my day but the day belonged to them. The runners and the volunteers were the reason this event came off so well. I owe more than I can say to the volunteers. Without them, Tim S and I simply couldn't have done it. If I forget to name one of you, please comment and chide me for forgetting.
Andrew Mitchell (Volunteer coordination, aid station, course sweeping)
Shelly Mitchell (Aid station)
Gail Merz (Aid station, course sweeping)
Andy Belk (Set up and Finish line)
Mykl Morrissey (Finish line food manager, PB&J sandwich and soup expert)
Michael Jaschob (parking monitor, finish line food, shuttle to store/aid stations)
Janet Thompson (road her bike up from the city and worked an aid station all day)
Ken Michal (Aid station manager, course marking)
Victor Ballesteros (Registration, then stomped in for the 20k win!)
Scott Dunlap (Registration and amazing support)
Stephanie Knoch (not really a volunteer but giant support with registration, shirts, and keeping Tim S from falling asleep in his chair)
And thanks to Dave Mackey for coming out to show his support. Good luck to him at Bandera 100k next week (like he needs luck!).
Tim S. and I are beyond grateful for your generous support and time. An amazing day, indeed.
|Andrew Mitchell post course sweeping...|
Sarah Lavender Smith wrote a very special piece capturing the event's mood and the events leading up to it. http://www.therunnerstrip.com/2012/01/report-from-rodeo-beach/