I’ve said it before an I’ll say it again: This race doesn’t happen without volunteers. In fact, no community event happens without volunteers — people willing to wake up and do things simply for the benefit of others.
You guys are it.
When I did my race recap, I extolled the wonder of it all, with all of the moving parts that putting on an event entails. Sometimes, people just did things without me asking or knowing. Intersections got covered, medical people appeared out of thin air to pitch in when needed, signs got moved to appropriate spots, and a million other things while my head spun off its mooring on Sunday morning as I tried to focus on the start and finish.
After handing off materials to the registration table I didn’t even have to look back, unless it was to say hello to a runner.
I did my best to meet and greet so that runners would have a great time, and you guys did all the hard work while I stood up there and got the acclaim.
And the runners came back with spectacular reviews, from veterans and newbies alike.
But it doesn’t happen without you. Yes, I said that before. Yes, I’ll say it again.
Anyone can come up with plans. But it’s the execution of those plans that takes work. And you executed.
Let’s look at my annual review of the various “jobs” that we had to take care of, shall we? While my recap of the race has the look and feel of the runner’s perspective, this is what “backstage” of Paine to Pain looks like:
Updating web site
In person registration
Banner/sign design and purchases
Setting up start/finish line banners
Ordering tents, tables and chairs (start and finish)
Placing tents and tables
Shopping for start/finish line goods
Organizing close to 200 volunteers
Data analysis to determine in August how many will show in October
Creating and manipulating spread sheets
Creating income statement
Writing checks and tracking invoices/payments
Finding restaurants to donate food
Getting that food to the finish
Ordering water/additional food/utensils/cups/plates for finish
Feeding people / staffing food stations
Manning three aid stations (and arranging for water for them)
Medical coverage for three aid stations and finish line
Finding and coordinating sponsors
Firing muskets and establishing colonial theme
Establishing massage stations
Securing and transporting baggage
Maintaining email list and sending out mass emails
Laying out, and then sweeping, ~800 flags
Announcing arriving runners to the finish
Finding/providing music for start, finish and on the course
Obtaining insurance for every municipality and sponsor
Coordinating four police departments
Race day communications via ham radio
Finalizing results and fixing scoring errors
You accomplished an astounding feet. Each year I dump some project on someone — often a person with a full time job — and that person just gets the job done, consuming, usually, several hours of time.
All of your effort shows. Year after year the glowing reviews come in that you guys nailed the execution of the race, and this year has exceeded the stellar reviews of the prior ones. I’m not sure how you top A+, but you managed. It is the volunteers that turn a mere footrace into a piece of performance art.
Over and again people came up to me to talk about the enthusiasm of the volunteers. At the start, on the course and at the finish.
We had runners registered from 19 states and two other countries. We often now find runners flying in to see family/friends on this particular weekend so that they can run our race. It’s what a community event is all about.
It. Doesn’t. Happen. Without. You. There. I said it again.