When I was hired a year ago to work the Nike Women Half Marathon in DC, I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew I was going to be helping to manage packet pickup and I had plenty of experience volunteering (and picking up my own packets LOL), but I’d never been involved from site visits all the way through execution. Honestly, it was a pretty amazing experience.
I could go on and on and tell you every little detail, but instead, I’m just going to say that I loved every minute of it (yes, even when we lost power for a short while on the busiest day, yes, even when I’d been standing for 10 hours straight). If I didn’t have kids and this paid as much as my real job , I could happily make race management my career.
So, here is the event as seen from my side:
After a few hours of work on Wednesday night, we were all ready to go the next day…
But we got a little slap happy working fairly late into the night…
Still, it was pretty cool to walk out and see this…
Bright and early the next morning, I put on my “uniform” for the week (thankfully, I had more than one shirt)…
Then my dad and I hit the metro and showed up to work. For the first part, he and I moved every.single.box of goody bags. (50 bags per box, 15,000 runners. You do the math.) He spent the rest of the day making sure that all the other volunteers had a full stock of goody bags to hand out. (Yes, he is a rockstar!)
I spent the rest of the day doing this…
With these crazy people…
Thursday went well with no lines and Friday was much of the same. We all knew Saturday would be crazy (approximately half of the runners still needed to pick up packets).
I savored a moment of calm as I walked from Arlington to Georgetown…
And that was the last bit of calm until I walked out again after packet pickup ended.
I then proceeded to spend the rest of my day searching for signs in the air to indicate an open computer…
Thankfully, we had the world’s most amazing volunteers (including fellow bloggers Ali and Carly) and the majority of the runners were really patient. (I even met Jessica, Meg and someone who told me they read my blog!) Despite zero potty breaks and a single banana all day, it was a good day and we got everyone processed by close.
Lest you think I was done, umm, no. I staggered home, exhausted and missing my voice, only to rise at 3:30am for race day!
I never even thought about pulling out my camera at the race. I was assigned to manage a “Fluids Tent”. I’m sorry, but I absolutely can’t say that with a straight face LOL. I spent most of the morning pouring nuun. Many runners assumed I worked for nuun, so I got asked a ton of questions. Guess it’s a good thing I’m an addict and was able to answer every question that came my way. I knew my addiction would come in handy someday!
Eventually, all good things must come to an end. I headed home, where I promptly face-planted on the couch and nearly missed Shoo’s soccer game. Today, I finally seem to have my normal energy back and I no longer have a voice appropriate for a 900 number.
And, in case you are wondering, I did buy the half zip (and I was given a hoodie as a gift…)
And you better believe I added my staff pass to my medals hanger…
And here are a bunch of links to ladies who RAN the race:
This Mama Can Run
Live Do Grow
Run Fit Kin
Urban In Suburbia
Did *you* run Nike and blog about it? Drop me a comment and I’ll add your link.
11 thoughts on “Nike Women Half Marathon non-runner report”
I don’t blog, but I did run the race! I saw you in passing Saturday afternoon at packet pickup, and I was the one who said “I read your blog!” You didn’t look like you had time to chat! Maybe next time! It was a well run race day experience, and the volunteers were excellent and obviously well trained. I didn’t hear an “I don’t know” all weekend. Thanks for all your hard work!
I ran it!
I followed your posts throughout this experience and thought “wow- that sounds like hard work”. Thank you for helping to make the experience so wonderful for the runners.
How fun! You know I have always wanted to get a job working for a race. I should look into it, sounds like it was not only fun but a rewarding experience. Thanks for sharing!
Every successful event needs good, enthusiastic volunteers. I bet Nike would have you back next year in a heart beat.
I wish I had thought to look for you when I came to packet pick-up on Friday! It’s been interesting reading about your behind the scenes experience. All the race personnel I dealt with were awesome. (And I ended up dealing with quite a few!)
Post my recap on my blog earlier this week. 🙂
Thats so awesome that you got to work at a race like that. I think that is something that I would love to do. I thought about working part time for one of the running companies around here but I decided not to because I don’t want to be told which races I can work and which I can run. SO therefore if I am not running I will volunteer, best of both worlds.
Congrats on the successful inaugural DC race! I know some people who ran the race and they felt like it was top notch. They definitely look forward to doing it again.
What a great experience. Our local big race company is looking for race interns and I honestly thought about it for maybe 10 seconds until I realized I need much more $ for a job!
What a wonderful experience! And an awesome race to be a part of.
Cool. Sounds like an exhausting but fun weekend. I am laughing at myself right now because when I read this yesterday I read “work for Nuun” like people thought you were getting paid in Nuun, which I thought was weird and would be a LOT of Nuun. Then as I was just making myself some it occurred to me, I don’t know why, what you meant. And I was like, “I’m an idiot.”
What a fun experience! It always amazes me what all goes into making a race run smoothly.