Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,

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Riley's Rumble

This morning I assisted at Riley's Rumble - a half marathon race that ended at Riley's Lock on the C&O Canal. I caught a ride with Tom, who invited me and lent me an HT to use for the event. I assumed that I would hover around his location and follow his cues like I did at the last race. I was a bit surprised when I found myself as the shadow of the race director all on my own with the tactical call 'Finish,' at the finish line!

I didn't quite realize this at first, but as soon as I did, I was shaking in my boots! (Well, sandals...) This is only the second public service event I've ever participated in and I felt as though I didn't know the right way to respond or call in.
"Did they just call me...?"
"I just forgot what they told me to pass on to the race director...Uhhh..."
"Do I need to report this into net control?"
"Now, should I respond with 'roger,' 'I copy,' 'thanks,' or something else about 'direct'?"

Well, equipped with my official race cap and my experience from last weekend's race, I launched into duty. Basically, all I needed to do was keep a sharp eye, an open ear, and a clear voice. The race director asked me to check on the status of all kinds of things. I had to call over for the trash bags early on. Later, I checked in with net control in order to catch up on the location of the EMS unit. We were supposed to have two, but there is only one? Can that one be sent here? Ok, after they finish at the halfway point? When will that be? Where is the last runner right now?

I had a tough time for a while because I was located in the middle of a wooded area and my signal was not reaching net control. For a while, every message I wanted to transmit to net control had to be relayed through Tom and Andy who were in a clearing on the other side of the water. I could hear both of them and I could also hear net control, so it was odd to hear my own messages being relayed back and forth. Later, I borrowed a different HT that worked through the cross band repeater and that way I could contact net control directly. Yes, the cross band repeater function came in quite useful!

Thankfully, there were no severe medical emergencies. The EMS people did check a few people at the end of the race, but I think everyone walked away from the event in fine health. Actually, most people looked great after the race! I was impressed. They really prepared well for the race and looked very happy as they ran. We were blessed with cool weather through most of the morning, which helped a lot. Still, to be able to run 13 miles is no easy task!

Despite my worries, I think I did a decent job and I learned a lot through doing it. There's nothing like jumping into the deep end and learning how to swim!
Tags: emcomm

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