Friday, May 8, 2015

Working the Color Run Event 5k

Over this past weekend I had the opportunity to work at The Color Run 5k in Ft Lauderdale. What an experience! I have a whole new understanding and respect for races and what goes into putting them on. I carpooled down Thursday morning, and immediately went to work at Packet Pick up. Everyone else had arrived Wednesday and set up packet pick up, we arrived Thursday in time to work at it.

The event had over 5000 people registered so they had 2 days of packet pickup (Thursday and Friday). It was exciting getting people excited and checked in for the upcoming race. We finished up around 6 and had a short meeting. Friday morning a group of us met for an early run before heading out to packet pickup and the venue for setup. We worked hard all day setting up all the barricades, banners, flags, stage area, tents and tables. We finished up the day around 9 pm (had a short meeting at the hotel over dinner around 8).
Staking everything in the ground

Saturday (race day) was crazy, we got up around 2:30 am and were at the venue at 3:30 am to begin setting up all the race day festivities. We had to unload the truck full of the packet pickup stuff so we could do race day packet pickup at the race, let me just take a moment to say please pick up your packet prior to race day whenever possible, there were over 2000 people trying to register or pick up their packets race day morning and most showed up half hour to 45 minutes prior to the race start. This causes everyone to have to wait in long lines, and start the race late.

yellow zone volunteers
We set up all the color zones which included getting the roads closed off, setting up all the signs, flags, color barrels, arch ways etc. Our volunteers began showing up and they were trained on how to properly work their area they were assigned.  After leaving color zone 1 (yellow) I was brought back to the SHINE zone at the finish-line. I made it back just as the first wave of the race was taking off. I quickly got all my glitter/shine ready and waited for my volunteers to show up and help... they never made it. My teammate at the finish line gave me one of his volunteers and she was so excited to be helping me out in the SHINE zone. Eventually my yellow zone squad made it over and helped me also... what teamwork! It was stressful having people say they would be there to help and never show up but everyone else stepped up and we had a very successful event.

Once the last runners came through we started cleaning up and tearing down the color zones and finish area while everyone partied with DJ Matt in the finisher zone. It was fun hearing everyone having so much fun, there was color everywhere, loud music, balloons flying... Such a fun event! It took us a few hours to clean all the garbage, and pack up all the tents, barricade, banners ect. We washed everything before packing it all up because it is being shipped off to another event. Everything was cleaned, inventoried, counted and packed.

We got back to the hotel around 2 and most went to take quick naps, I opted for a quick shower (I looked like the Tin Man) and swam a few laps before some hot tub time. What an awesome experience. I will be sure to thank volunteers more often, get my garbage into a trash whenever possible, and really take a moment to look around and appreciate all the hard work that was put into the events I am at. Every sign, banner, tent, table, mile marker, water station... they were all put up and tore down by people. A lot of work!

Our "local" Color Run team

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