this was one of those times when running the race would have been way easier than volunteering - if only because the race started at 9 and the volunteers reported for duty at 7! the early arrival time wouldn't normally have been a big deal - except i had stayed out late the night before to catch the dark star orchestra show at the nokia theatre in the city. so by the time i crawled into bed, it seemed like minuted later it was time to get up again!
okay, whining over... the bedford turkey trot was a blast. got there a couple of minutes past 7, and found myself (along with emmy) assigned to handing out bibs to pre-registered runners. there was an interesting twist to bib pick-up because a disposable timing chip was attached. runners had to remove the plastic strip from the bib and attach the timing piece to the sneaker. one tab of the small plastic strip had the instructions (and was itself immediately disposable) the other tab had the electronics - and recorded the time.
as part of the bid distribution process, we had to brief the runners on the new d-chips. most loved the them - especially not having to worry about turning them back in after the race. others found attaching them to sneakers challenging. we even had one runner with a defective adhesive strip on her chip - and required the assistance of a stapler! all in all, this disposable timing technology will probably replace the old fashioned chips - sooner, rather than later. in fact, kate reported that similar timing was used at the pequot runners thanksgiving day race.
after bib pick-up runners boarded yellow school buses for the short trip over to the start. the start was just under a mile away, and some opted to jog over as a warm-up. the course itself was basically a loop - which included a pretty decent hill climb - that returned the runners to the start, when they then continued back on a point to point down the finish line. there was great course control be the police and other volunteers - especially for the stretch that went through downtown bedford.
once the last bus left the finish area, emmy and i decided to run the course (backwards, as it turned out). we ran thru town to the start and proceeded to cover the loop in the reverse direction - which was fun because we got to see the runners out on the course. by the time we reached the start of the loop, the majority of runners were just about to complete it (including john) and head off on the point to point back to the finish. i think we did entire run (about 4 miles) in roughly 35 minutes.
back at the finish we learned that john had won his age group! but that, in turn, lead to the only real negative of the entire morning - no age group awards beyond 50-59 year olds! what a bummer it was to discover that disappointing bit of news (john was the first of 7, in the 60-69 age group). after the awards ceremony, the kids fun runs were held on the field.
as much fun as it was volunteering, next year i think i'll line up for the race as a change of pace ;)
here are some race photos.