July 16, 2007

Squamish Thunder, Record Setting Weekend

The fourth annual Squamish Thunder took place this past weekend at Alice Lake. Conditions were absolutely perfect, with slightly overcast skies and perfectly packed trails due to our recent 'heat wave' in the lower mainland of B.C.

I was somewhat surprised by the surge of day of participants and even ran out of registration forms at one point! However, we managed to get record breaking numbers, having never cracked 100 participants, we had exactly 200 registered runners for the 2007 edition!!

As a first time race director there were two things that I wanted to ensure I did properly,
1) Flagging the course
2) Posting the results by Monday morning

These are perhaps two of my biggest pet peeves that I see in the races I do and I wanted to ensure that I took all the necessary steps to avoid this.

The night before the event I spent 2.5hrs basically running sprint intervals while flagging the hell out of the trails around Alice Lake. I used five rolls of flagging tape where most race directors would use one or two. The following morning I drove to the furthest corner of the race course to ensure that no one had messed with the flagging in the previous twelve hours. My Christmas like display was perfectly in tact and I headed back to the start-finish area to organize the days events.

After a few pre-race announcements the event was underway. The first ten km runner was through in just over 45 minutes and the first 16km runner broke the course record by over three minutes, taking just 58 minutes to cover the course, which had significant climbing involved.

Quote of the day:

"You failed to mention how big that climb was!"

I was happy to confirm that no one managed a wrong turn out there...an absolute rarity in trail racing...and my race results were posted first thing Monday morning. The feedback I have been getting so far has all been overwhelmingly positive and I greatly appreciate all of it.

This was a bit of an eye opener to me, having only seen the other side of the coin for a few years now...when the volunteers try to stop you at the finish line...do it! It's for a reason...one which I never fully understood until this past weekend. The time and effort that goes into every single event, no matter how small, is significant and those involved certainly don't do it for the financial rewards. I know I have a greater appreciation for what I may have taken for granted since I started racing.

The volunteers were amazing, thanks to every single one of them for there incredible assistance, the event would not be possible without them!

Congratulations to each and every runner that took part, from the first across the line to the people at the back of the pack, I appreciated having all of you out there and hope to see you again in 2008.

Gary Robbins

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

5 rolls? We just used 30 to flag the GutBuster! ;0)
Great to hear the race was a success with great numbers and no wrong turns by the racers. Congrats on entering the world of race directing! Bryan from the GutBuster.