Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Race Directors Make for Strange Neighbors

I work from home, which is one of the great things about my job. Some days it is all PJ's all the time. Like anything it has its benefits but also its downsides. But, that is not why I am posting today.

We have a great porch on our house, its at the front of the house. Its totally covered and it's big, it's where I do all my big projects and also it is used as temporary storage for race things. I realized today, as my very nice neighbors drove up, that Race Directors probably make for strange neighbors.

Most normal neighbors, if there is such a thing, have the occasional box being delivered, maybe they have a barking dog or are out doing yard work on a nice day. Me, however, I guess I am not normal a neighbor.

Strange hours (most race days I leave the house with my huge Uhaul packed with everything for race day around 2:00am), strange projects on the porch, always boxes being delivered, often times very very big ones that contain things like 10x10 canopies, and we get a lot of large quantities of items that hang out on the porch for a couple of days and then disappear. They must think that I am crazy, or just stalking up for a zombie apocalypse that they somehow missed.

Today, this is what my neighbors saw, me on the floor measuring the letters on this giant banner. Yard signs too.

A couple of weeks ago it was a row of 15 gorgeous cones, being marked with RFG on them (sorry I did not get a picture of that), a few weeks before that an entire pallet of water bottles, a couple of weeks before that was a sign on a cone in our driveway saying TURN AROUND (I was testing it for wind durability so it had to stay up for a couple of days).

Maybe I should go over there and offer them a couple of free race entries so they know what I am up to and they don't hate me when I rev up that Uhaul engine right outside their bedroom window for the next race at 3:00am. Or maybe I should go recruit their teens to come volunteer at an event, or could you just haul this water down the stairs for me!?

Sorry neighbors!

An Update:
This came in the mail today and now its in our driveway, being tested for wind durability. It's 15 feet tall. I guess the neighbors will know where to go to register. I am getting funny looks from the roofing crew across the way.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Things That Make This Race Director Giddy

Some might call me a geek, some a dork, particularly when it comes to all things cones. If you have been following this blog for any amount of time you will probably see what I am obsessed with cones, of all shapes or sizes. When I travel I tend to notice cones more than anything else. I take pictures of cones and ogle over foreign cones.

They are essential to the operations of an event. I use them to mark turns and when I do that I like to tape arrow or directional signs to those cones. I have been made fun of by numerous people by my extensive use of tape. Every race our guy that helps with course set up tells me there has to be a better way. I just could not think of any way to get those signs onto the cones, or up in any other fashion for that matter. The cones start to get sticky, the signs only last a few races before the tape accumulation becomes too much and they have to be thrown away. But, its effective and people do not get lost when I do it this way.

So for the last 5K I splurged and bought brand new, shiny, clean cones and I fell in love. I did not want to mess these ones up. But, I noticed one that had a little defect, a notch on top, a slit that would fit a laminated sign just exactly perfectly. I slipped it in and behold, it held, perfectly, without any tape. It was a breezy day so I left the set up outside to see if it would hold up to the wind. The next day I peaked outside and it was still standing! Could this really be happening? A new, better way!?

But, I did not know if I could cut a slit into cones, they are made out of pretty heavy duty materials. I found our exact-o knife and it slid through that rubber like butter. I placed a sign in my modified cone and it stayed, breeze and all.

My life has been revolutionized. I texted a picture to the guy that makes fun of me and was so excited I could not stand it.

I started thinking about it, realizing it would save me time on race mornings (tape can take some time to cut and get right), save money on tape, preserve my precious cones, preserve our signs and be much cleaner and even more eye catching than before. Plus no more tape for breakfast when I can't find the scissors. I was positively giddy! How could I have not of thought of this before?

Here are the new and improved signs you will see at the next Run for Good Racing event! Ooooh, how pretty!!! Doesn't that make you giddy too!? No? Just me I guess!