I helped set up my first race yesterday morning. Aside from having to report for duty at 5 a.m., it wasn't bad. Oh, except it was freezing. And I had to lift heavy things. And stick course signs into frozen ground. And also that part about waking up at 4:30 a.m.
However, it was cool. I'd never been "behind the scenes" of a race, if you will. My boss was the course director, so he and his minions (uh, me? and his fiance?) had to do the grunt work. I don't mind grunting, I really don't.
See? Grunt. Grunt-grunt.
But I do mind when it's both 5 a.m. and 17 degrees outside. We had to barricade the parking lot, set up the start and finish line and water station, load the 5-mile course with signage, run around like headless chickens and do quick dances and jumping jacks to replenish our appendages with feeling and warmth.
The race finishers got pumpkin pies. I got cold.
But I did get to ride around in boss man's FJ Cruiser, and it sort of made me feel like I was driving a space ship, so, I mean, there was that. A bright light. Wasn't all bad. I also snagged a t-shirt, and I'm a race t-shirt whore, so that was fun.
I can't even fathom how miserable it must be to set up a ginormous race, like a marathon. Twenty-six miles of preparation? No, thank you. I'd rather run 26 miles. Although as I saw runners whiz past me in the 21-degree weather with frozen snot and bright red faces, I was grateful to be behind the scenes. And in the shelter of an FJ Cruiser.
When I got back to the finish line, after scooping up all the race course signage, a firetruck was just pulling away, and an officer was wiping up the middle of the road.
Turns out a man collapsed just before the finish line. Just, like, BAM. From what I'm told, his heart stopped right there on the spot. He hit his head and bled. A lot. Hence the road wiping.
A medic from the med tent whipped out an AED and shocked his heart right there in the road. Lucky (wrong word?) for the man, he collapsed, literally, in front of the emergency room doors of the local hospital.
So they whisked him away, and as far as I know, he's just fine.
Happy Thanksgiving? Yikes.