Brain UnDead

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Far be it from me to be critical (bwahahahaha! Did anyone buy that?), but people are kind of dumb.

I just got back from volunteering at a zombie-themed race, and I swear the zombies are not the ones lacking mental prowess. Here’s a sampling of things that seem like obvious organizational issues that shouldn’t have happened:

  • No check in for volunteers and the race coordinator was nowhere to be found. So people milled around for over 30 minutes not knowing where to go or how to help.
  • No cash/change at the day-of registration. Plus only one cash box for four people. Plus the credit card charger was broken.
  • No signage indicating that there were separate tables for pre- registered runners and day-of registration. So some people waited in one line only to be told they were in the wrong one.
  • Only 4 pens for people to fill out registration forms — and hundreds of people in line to sign up who could’ve filled out the forms while in line to get things moving.
  • No briefing of volunteers as to where to direct people with questions or how to get answers ourselves. The race coordinators should’ve at least had some sort of identifying shirts in so we could figure out who to ask if we didn’t have an answer. I hate telling people I have no idea of how to answer their question and no way of helping them get the answer.
  • Only one person doing time chipped sign up when that was the largest pool of day-of registrants and most important to get signed up correctly with bib numbers matching chips and name/age/race wave legibly filled out on the form
  • Each runner was supposed to get a belt with three flags for zombies to try to steal during the race. The sets were in two parts: 1) a belt and two flags in one ziploc and 2) we had to split up a flag packet of two at the time of registration. This should’ve been done the night before so we could hand a complete set of a belt and three flags in one ziploc. This process only got further confused when one “helpful” volunteer didn’t realize that there were 2 flags in the non-belt packet, so some runners got 4 flags. Plus all the empty ziplocs from the separated flag set kept blowing away in the 20 mph winds (got all that straight?)
  • No coffee for volunteers (it was 38 degrees — this is just a personal gripe and less about stupidity)
  • This was all just my experience working day-of registration. One would hope the course marshals sent people the right way, the water stations had enough water and that pre-registration went more smoothly (although they dealt with the flag/belt packet issue too). Or there could be some poor souls lost in the park trails. I might’ve gotten lost out there once.

    But like I said, I’m not one to criticize. *snicker*

    It was still fun, if disorganized. There were well over 1000 participants and I’m sure most of them had a seamless experience. I went with a friend, so he and I had a sense of humor about the whole thing and helped each other out whenever we could. I think we kept our own personal screw ups to a minimum.

    Good thing they had me there to keep things under control.

    Oh, I crack myself up. I’m gonna run for president. You set your bar low, people!

    20131027-142018.jpg20131027-142801.jpgIn other news, I didn’t quite nail my workout yesterday, but I came close. I was supposed to start at about a 9:49 pace and work my way down to 8:22-8:32 for mile 11, then cool down at an easy pace. You can see I blew the slower pace at the start, which I paid for by not being able to get down to 8:22 at the end. I think I might’ve been able to get there, but as my last double digit run of the training cycle, I didn’t want to hurt myself so I didn’t push it.

    Speaking of stupid, I had to write my target paces on a little post-it that I stuck on my iphone because I get really dumb when I run, especially when it comes to numbers. Because I couldn’t handle remembering to increase the pace by 10 seconds per mile. I’d forget what the previous time was, nevermind be able to subtract 10 seconds. And clearly my cheat sheet did me little good because I didn’t start hitting my target pace until mile 6. Stupid.

    The workout kicked my ass, although I feel only slightly stiff today. However, I’ll need to step it up on race day to average an 8:30 pace for the half marathon. Good thing adrenaline comes on race day.

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    18 thoughts on “Brain UnDead

    1. Considering your participation in enough of these “Adventures in Running” you most certainly do have the right to criticize the lack of planning for this event. In the name of “PC,” it seems much has been lost-including the ability to reflect on one’s experiences and form an opinion aka, a (gasp!) judgement about what they’ve experienced because well, yk, it’s not PC. Yep, I know: teleological reasoning but that’s what I’ve experienced πŸ˜‰
      It was cold and DAMP today-I bet you were chilled as were others who weren’t running but trying to assist in sorting out the avoidable mess.
      Can you write your cheat sheet on your hand or arm somewhere? Yk, like we tried many years ago in school?!
      TW

      • I tried to write it on my wrist, but the pen didn’t do well on skin plus wore away as I sweated. The post-it was fine except I suck at self-restraint. Lol.

        And you’re right, PCness has gone too far and not enough constructive criticism is accepted. And it was bloody cold out there at 6 am. Coffee would’ve been nice.

      • Maybe after I’ve gotten a few more volunteer turns under my belt. My husband is friends with a guy who runs his own event timing company. He does triathlons, as well as running and swimming races. He didn’t do this last event and from hat I can tell, does a great job with his.

    2. I find that a lot of those new adventure themed races are not all that well organized. I think some of them are there just to make a buck, and don’t think about all the details.
      Glad your workout kicked your butt!

      • I’m not entirely sold on these obstacle/theme races for myself (worried about getting injured for my main love, running), but I think they are a great way for a lot of people to start getting into fitness and having fun.

        The problem that I see with not caring about anything but making a buck is that disorganization can lead to dissatisfaction of the participants. You want them to come back and bring friends, not write online about all the things that sucked.

        Sent from my iPad

        >

        • Agreed. I’ve done a bunch of them, but haven’t in a year or so because the last one I did was so badly run. Figured I’d step away for a while until they can get it figured out. Also, you’re right about them being dangerous. The obstacles keep getting tougher and tougher! Some really scary! I saw one lady fall off of one and break her collarbone! Yikes!

    3. I don’t know how you keep track of all those exact split times, and remove seconds off of a mile….you’re GENIOUS that how! I had that same disorganization one time when I ran that color race. I stood in line for almost 2 hours for a 5k, and I was there to pick it up the night before! I was beyond irritated, and now I vow to never do it again! Their loss I guess:)

    4. Sounds like a horror show. πŸ˜‰ I’ve volunteered for a few races and it has been fun. It’s great seeing people finish, expecially the last ones. You know they fought for it and are probably new to the sport. Lots of heart on display with those folks.

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