Friday, September 16, 2011

SWAT'ing Napa

Two weeks ago I called Rae to tell her running Ragnar Napa was a no go.  I could volunteer and work SWAT (sweating, wet and tired) if she needed someone last minute. A week later I still hadn't canceled my vacation day at work because I hoped by some miraculous chance I could run the race.  First came an email and then a phone call, Rae had a last minute SWAT cancellation, could I work Napa?

I drove to the start line this morning to see Rae and the team off.  At the Golden Gate bridge toll booth the attendant asked me if there was an event today. I explained the race and pointed at the runner who just went by with their vest, headlamp and butt light.  That should have been me running on the Golden Gate but at least I can still participate in the awesomest relay.
The start ( I missed my teams runner in the pic) 
As an extra bonus my friend from high school (we ran track together) was in town and tackled the San Francisco hills to go to the race start. It had been 20+ years since I had seen him and it was great talking with him.
Almost forgot to get a picture. Had a stranger walking by snap a quick picture
My volunteer shift starts at 11:30pm tonight and goes until tomorrow night.  Maybe 9 or 10pm?  I'm course manager for 5 exchanges towards the end of the course. My job is to set up the exchanges, put up signs, train the volunteers, resolve issues and take down my section of the course. I bought a pair of gloves to keep my hands warm through the night and help with set up and take down. I have a van PACKED with cones, signs and bins for the exchanges. Anchored behind the drivers seat the metal plate separating me from the cargo blocks the rear mirror view yet I keep looking. Perhaps by the Sunday morning when I hand the truck back I will have figures out to use the side mirrors exclusively.
My Ragnar-Mobile
After unpacking this, how does everything fit back in later?
In February I worked SWAT for Del Sol and was an exchange manager; was on my feet running around for 14 hours straight. I'm excited to do course manager and love learning the behind the scenes of the race. The magnitude of planning and coordination is unbelievable.

Happy Running!


misszippy said...

So great you can help your buds out like that! I'm sure you'll have a blast.

i was supposed to be doing a Ragnar next weekend, but my feet had other ideas. I'm probably going to bury my head in the sand all weekend and pretend I forgot it's going on. Maybe next time.

Giorgio said...

Nice photo of you with your friend from high school!
Have a beautful Sunday!

Black Knight said...

I have never had an experience as volunteer. It is great that you can help.
I hope you are spending a good sunday.
Nice pictures.

Ewa said...

Volunteering is great. Good for you!