Friday, September 11, 2009


With the combination of Monday’s Holiday, my trip to Pitt and my day off on Wednesday, I came back to work to a flurry of stuff to do. My biggest time suck is email. I once calculated how much email I get on a daily basis. At one point I was up to 75 emails, on average. Now granted, alot of those are not directly addressed to me; rather, I am cc’d. But I still have to open them up, read them, and in some cases, comment. Wednesday night going into Thursday, I logged in and tried to blow through as many of the easy ones as I possibly could, to alleviate the load on Thursday.

Yesterday was a long day. I didnt get out of the office until 8:00, and I am going to have to put some hours in over the weekend. Its going to be a tough weekend given the fact that I have two races to time in addition to whatever work I have to do for my real job. I have to get out of work on time today; I have to get home and write the software for tomorrow’s race in NJ, and than test all of my equipment. That shouldnt take very long, but, I have had issues with the software in the past, so I like to give myself alot of extra time to iron out any bugs. I also have to go through all of my race day stuff that I need to bring along, and pack the car with as much as I can so I dont have to do it tomorrow.

Tomorrow is going to be an early day. I gotta be at the race at 6:00 am. I have to paint the course with the RD (that’s race jargon for “Race Director” – the person in charge of all of the race logistics). 6:00 is a little early quite frankly, but the guy I work told the RD that I would be there at 6:00. Registration opens at 7:30 am and the race doesn't start until 9:00. That’s a large window of time. Normally, I would get there at 7:00, drop off all of my finish line stuff, get my helper setup with the laptop at registration, and paint the course while registration is in full swing. Tomorrow, however, I should be done painting the course before registration opens. In theory, that would leave me with an hour and a half to kill before the race starts. Thats a bit much. I am half tempted to call the RD today and tell him I will be there at 6:30.

I am not sure what to expect for tomorrow’s race. Its a first year race. Typically, first year races dont get a big turn-out unless the RD does a ton of promoting, or, the race is associated with a school or church, which drives out droves of kids and what not. As of Thursday, there were ten people registered on our site, and the RD told me he has about fifteen mail-in registrations, but he’s expecting 100-200 people. I would be surprised if they break 100 at the high end. I am thinking they will get closer to 50-70, depending on the weather, and right now, the forecast isn’t looking so good.

Sunday’s race is a bit more low-key. Its the Autism Speaks 5k. I timed this race last year and if my memory serves me correctly, we had about 100 runners. The race is held at Ridley Creek State Park – nice and local. The bad news: the race starts at 10. It would be great if it started earlier so I can get home earlier.

I am breaking in a couple of new helpers this weekend. I like to bring two helpers with me. It makes things flow a bit easier. We need to bring in a third timing crew – we’re turning down races because we’re overbooked. I got a guy who does alot of our races and he had expressed interest in timing, so he’s coming along to both races to see how things work. I also have two high school girls that I am going to platoon like Andy Reid platooning his offensive line. I’ll have one primary helper and a back-up, plus I have Tim’s son at my disposal as well. My back-up helper has a busy cross-country schedule, so her availability to help me is limited.

By the way I am on the train. Its raining. Rain+Septa = Slow. This happens every time it rains. The conductor just walked down the isle and said we are having “signal problems.”

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