Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I feel good about what I have been doing

I post about most of the races I run.  I also post about some of the running I do.  But I don't often post about the races I help organize.  I am the "course guy", I don't really deal with the marketing of the race or the timing and scoring.  My job is to make sure the runners get from the start to the finish (with out any unnecessary detours) and get some water along the way (if necessary).  If I have a little more control over the job I get to design the course.  That means I have to make decide were the runners will go  and make sure the race is the correct distance.

View 2013 GOGI 10K #6 Final in a larger map 
The past couple of weeks I have been pretty busy.  I had a big part in designing the course for the Get Out Governors Island 10k.  In the 4 years this race has been around this is the 3 course.  The island is constantly changing.  They are removing the ugly and enhancing the beautiful. This Spring the geography of island was literally changing daily.  Places that were roads one week were covered in sod the week later.  I would have preferred to used the entire island but we were not allowed there without a hardhat and a vest.

Thank you seoul food in brooklyn
This course was easy to manage because the marshals were at locations that were all a short walk from the festival area and they all had to give simple instructions like "TURN!"  not "Go straight twice and then turn!".  I like simple.  Setting up for this race took a lot of time.  The day before I had to get the cones and arrows out on the course.  This had to start after the island officially closed, so were there till about 10 pm.  They we had to be back for a 5 am ferry.  After the race was all done, the rest of the staff got on the ferry to Manhattan.  I was in no rush to get home, so I Fauzia's Heavenly Delights.  I got a jerk chicken and sat under the shade of a tree and had a great slow lunch.  Then I fell asleep knowing that I could nap as long as I wanted because the island would be open for the rest of the day and they would not let me spend the night.  A week later I took my kids to Governors Island just for lunch.  I told Mr Fauzia that his lunch was the highlight of my day a week earlier.  He said he would tell his wife who made it for me.
stopped for lunch and the food cart operated by the same people who catered our race.

This Saturday I helped out with the Take Your Base 5K.  The great thing here is that the finish line was in the field at MCU Park, where the Brooklyn Cyclones Play.  The finish line was actually at home plate and the 3 mile mark was "Warning Track, Left Center Field".  As course director I get to lead the runners.  I found out is it not so easy to ride on AstroTurf.

After the race the crew that organized it all went out to breakfast at Tom's on the Boardwalk   As we were siting down some of the runners from our race were leaving.  It was really nice to be recognized and be thanked for doing a good job.

Brunch on Saturday was not nearly the end of my day.  I had volunteered to set up an aid station for a big
thank you Captain Qwerty
race.  I have been in charge of aid stations at big races before.  In the Spring I was the "Team Leader" of the fluid station at mile 5 of the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  There were over 20,000 runners in that race and I supervised 50 people.  I was required to attend a training session and start work at 4:30 am for a races that started at 7:30.  We covered 20 tables with 3 levels of cups.  For an hour the road was basically uncrossable.

That was last month.  Saturday evening (into Sunday morning) I was the fluid station at mile 80 of The Great New York 100 Mile Exposition.  Yea,  100 mile race, totally in the streets of New York City.  I am not making this up.  The Wall Street Journal covered it here.

This was my assignment
Aid Station # 15 at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, mile 80.83- Corner of Exeter St. & Shore Blvd. Near footbridge.. Hours are 4:20 PM to 3 AM.
This was actually in the neighborhood of Manhattan Beach and I described my experiences in that exact spot here.

At 4 pm, that spot on Shore Blvd was kinda busy.  Not with runners, but with fisherman, and families taking walks and just sitting on the benches.  This was my view, from 4 pm to 3 am

Just to the left of the photo is a wooden foot bridge that crossed Sheepshead Bay.

6 gallons of water and 2 gallons of Gatorade were delivered to me at about 6:30.  I just put a gallon of water and a gallon of Gatorade on the roof of my car.  No cups.  All the runners where carrying hydration packs.  At 7 pm the first runner came by.  He did not want anything to drink.

After 7 pm, a few more runners came by and I started getting texts from the Todd Jennings who was staffing the station at mile 75, in The Roakaways.  One of my teammates form the Prospect Park Track Club also stopped by.  He made 3 or 4 hours go fast.  Thanks Dennis.

After 9 pm, it got dark and most of the families left and the harmless drunks showed up.  Across the Bay the blue building became a disco.  It did not take me long to realize that it was a Sweet 16.  I really could have done without the blinking lights and thumpa thumpa.

Then more runners came.  Most had pacers who handled their maps and made sure they were OK.

I saw them coming because their headlights were obvious as they approached.  The funny thing was that they didn't even know they were approaching a fluid station. I loved getting up and shouting "Welcome to Manhattan Beach!"   They all had an amazing energy. They approached me not as runners who had just run 80 miles, but as runners who had just 20 to go to get to 100

From the Race Directors Facebook page  (Phl, btw, holds the WORLD RECORD for the 48 hour race.)

100 Mile results:
1. Tommy Sung Pyon - 19:36:55
2. Chris Solarz - 20:34:58
3. Dante A. Simone - 20:48:55
4. Chris Rice - 22:48:51
5. (1F) Sky Canaves - 22:49:41
6. Jürgen Englerth - 23:15:24
7. Gray Weaver - 23:52:18
8. Ray Krolewicz - 25:19:58
9. Michael Samuels - 25:20:41
10. Mark Leuner - 25:38:30
11. Paul Arroyo - 25:46:52
12. Otto Lam - 25:55:09
13. Shannon MacGregor - 26:10:00
14. Gerald Tabios - 26:18:45
15. Julian Addison - 26:40:23
16. Luis Miguel Callao - 27:10:30
17. Bart Muzzin - 27:34:45
18. Ramon Ferrer, Jr. - 27:44:07
19. (2F) Elaine Rita Yulo - 27:54:38
20. (3F) Elizabeth Hamrick - 28:07:49
21. Nick Jekogian - 29:02:43

So on Saturday my alarm went off at 4 am, and when I got back home at 3:45 am I did not see the point of staying awake for 15 more minutes just to say I was up for 24 hours.  But I did close my eyes knowing that most of these guys were still running.

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