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Long Beach Race Weekend Recap!

Man, as usual, race weekend was CRAZY. Cannot even put it into words and at this point, I can’t even believe that it’s ALL in the rear view mirror! All last week was hectic, last minute prep work, deliveries, packing everything up and checking all our lists. We LOVE lists in the office. I live off of post it notes and made sure we were on task for all our stuff. It was also my birthday, but it was such a busy day that I didn’t even realize it. Friday started the weekend for us, and Thursday night I was nervous. After last year, I was a bit skiddish and just wanted to make sure everything was as taken care of for everything that we were in charge of. My co-worker and I were in “charge” of the kids run so we were really over analyzing that area of the event, especially since last year we had some issues with all the parents arriving at once and it was a little chaotic.

We were setting up all Friday morning and then finally it was time for the Expo to open. This year I worked mostly at solutions all day Friday, and though this makes the day go by SO fast because you have so, so much to do. “Solutions” is where everyone with problems with registration or something regarding the race. So, at this point, they usually are pretty angry and have said their story a few times. From refunds, to things out of our control, we get it all. A lot of the time, I just say, just tell me what you want, which sometimes makes people even MORE angry because then they think I don’t want to listen to their story, which isn’t true, but a lot of the time just tell me what you need or want to save both of us some time.

Most things were able to be worked out for the most part and most angry people’s problems were diffused. Thankfully when they left they were not as angry as they showed up to be. :) Some people were just hilarious though. I think many think I am too young to be the ‘supervisor’ or to be able to answer their questions, but BAM! I can! haha.

Friday night was the VIP dinner and we finished up a few things for race morning, and checked things off our list and pulled Bibs for the kids run. Finally hitting the hay around midnight, the 4:30 am wake up call was WAY too early but it was finally time for the Aquarium of the Pacific Kids Run!

I was pretty nervous about the kids run. Last year I thought someone was going to punch me. This year we were a little more prepared. Everything went great! I was shocked and just kept waiting for something to happen. I think when it comes to event weekend, we are dealing with all the ‘bad’ stuff, it’s hard to remember that there are lots of things going right. The parents were docile and happy, the kids were having fun, nothing was really going wrong. I feel like I’m jinxing myself saying that even now that the event is over.

About half way through the event, my coworker had to go sort out some issues back at the convention center, so I just traveled from the bib pick up tent to the start/finish line. It was a great morning and I’m so glad it went so well. It gives me some hope that not all humankind if crazy. I took some pictures from our facebook to show the kids run.

The last waves were such small kids! We only had two pile up of kids and they got right up and took off. It scares the living daylights out of me watching the starts! I can’t watch, I get so scared that they are all just going to fall and push and crush each other. They are all so excited and just want to go, go, go that it’s hard to keep them back from the start line. The little kids scare me the most! When I stood at the start line all I thought was that they were SO SMALL! They all did great though and right after we tore down all the stuff I headed back over to the Expo to resume my spot at Solutions. Another lovely day with questions and angry people. It does make the day fly by though, I got to see Sarah, and a few others and before I knew it, the expo was shutting down. Last year I think I didn’t know what to expect and how to handle situations and this year I was able to remove myself much more and not be so attached and get sad when people screamed at me. It’s just the way of life and they are angry!

The expo shut down and we cleaned that up. At this point it was monster heaven and my head was going crazy making lists of things to do. We closed down everything and finally headed up to our room for a quick shower, blow dried my hair and felt like a new person and then it was back down to start setting up for the start line. Time was just flying!

I will recap all the glory of race day tomorrow!


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  • Reply Ben Chu

    Again, thank you so much for all your hard work. My kids had a great day at the Kids Fun Run. It was really well organized event. I have absolutely nothing else to say but praise for this event. As for me, I had an awesome marathon run the next day. The volunteers were all wonderful especially the CSULB students. The only thing was I didn’t get to show my kids the Beach Cities Medal after the race. They were out. But we still had a great day and hope to continue the tradition. Thanks again and thanks for the post for me to see the other side of the fence.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    I’ve volunteered to help with races and I’ve actually been support staff a few times now and I have SOOOOO much respect for race directors and staff for all the insane B.S. they have to put up with between the logistics to runners. Congrats on a well executed kids race and looking forward to hearing about the marathon!

    October 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm
  • Reply Beth

    You know what is funny is that after reading your recap of last year, I was standing around the kids run looking around waiting to see/hear some craziness…..but things were so well run and organized, there was none! It is unbelievable that this is a free event!! Everything was perfect, and since I have 3 kids in 3 different waves and was there from the 9 year old wave till the last wave, I got a nice tan!
    Thanks again to you and all Run Racing staff/volunteers!!
    And thanks for taking a picture with me!

    October 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Kathy

    I worked for a race company last year and am all too familiar with those nights of very little sleep! Our last race of the year, I actually only got 1 hour of sleep before we had to get up and get back at it. I’m glad everything well went for you and agree that you just have to let people be mad sometimes. It’s crazy how different things look from the other side now that I’m doing races instead of putting them on! I have a MUCH greater appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into events. Great job!!

    October 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm
  • Reply Caroline Eakle

    This was THE best kids race!
    Seriously. We loved it, super organized! It was 10000 times better than the Disney race. They could learn from you! Thank you!

    October 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm
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