You have decided that you want to sign up for a race so you sit down at your computer, search for the website, click on register, enter all your personal information that they ask of you and then realize you don’t have your credit card at your desk. Now you have to get up and find your wallet. That is the most work you have to do to register but have you ever
thought about what happens after you click all those buttons? Did you ever look at your race bib and say “How did that timing chip get on the back?” Probably not and I know I have never thought about it when I take part in a race.
Last week Mark put the request out for volunteers on Facebook. He wanted people to help get the race bibs ready for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Warren and I had helped out last year so we were happy to help again this year. I also recruited my co-worker Tanya to help out too. There were also three other people helping out Race Day Timing Services put 1000’s of timing chips on the back of the race bibs. There are around 14,000 people registered already and I am sure more will register from now until then. I think that is crazy and awesome all at the same time because I love to see that so many people are being active.
Mark asked us to arrive at his house at 5:00pm and for our help he would have food and drinks for us. We weren’t sure what we were going to be doing but I thought it was going to be the same as last year. It ended up being different but it was an easier different. We were removing the timing chips off the roll and placing them on the back of the race bibs. The timing chip had a number on it and you had to match it to the bib number. Mark gave us the tip that placing 25 chips one side and then alternate another 25 chips on the other side was the best way to do it. The bibs would then sit in the box better and they didn’t curl to one side or the other. The process sounds simple enough but I did make a mistake once and skipped placing a number on the bib and then I was off by one number for the about 15 of them. Oops but thankfully I realized it and the chips were easy to peel off at the time.
An hour or so into us working away and sticking the chips on the bibs Mark ordered us Noodlebox for supper. I love the Spicy Peanut with Tofu box and always order the same thing. After we were done eating we carried on chatting
and sticking. Tanya, Warren and I were at a table together so we shared some laughs and stories. It didn’t feel like work and the time flew by. I hadn’t realized that we had been there for almost four hours.
So, putting timing chips on bibs is just one part of getting you ready for the day of the race and there are so many other things that take place that we don’t even know about. I will now look at races a bit different I think and wonder how things came to be.
So, thank you to all of the volunteers, committee staff and organizations who go into making all the races a success behind the scene.
Have you volunteered for an event before and done some sort of work that you didn’t know would be part of the end result?