Not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but in addition to my full-time job, I have an awesome part-time gig working for RaceWire, a race-timing company based out of New England. I like being busy, and I like have a few extra dollars, so I’m always on the search for good part-time gigs. Due to a move and busy schedule, I had to leave my part time job at Weight Watchers (another story for another day), and after a few months of only working 40 hours/week, I start scrolling through Craigslist looking for something new and exciting. And that’s where I found RaceWire! I emailed them my resume, and they quickly responded to ask what my schedule looked like and when I wanted to start.
Race timing is awesome. It can get expensive to run in every 5K, 10K, local road race. Race timing allows me to enjoy the running community and the excitement of the race, without having to physically run it. Right now, I’m an Assistant Timer, which means most of my job is data entry – aka, entering in all the same-day race registrations into an excel sheet that is then uploaded into our software for tracking finish times and reporting on finishers.
NOTE: DEAREST RUNNERS. PLEASE REMEMBER TO ALWAYS REGISTER FOR A RACE AHEAD OF TIME. IT IS A PAIN IN THE ASS TO DEAL WITH SAME-DAY REGISTRATIONS.
This past weekend, I timed two races. On Sunday, I drove down to Providence, RI for the Gloria Gemma Flames of Hope 5K/10K/Fun Run. This was a *serious* race. The organization raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. It was almost overwhelming to see all of these women and their families and friends – all dressed in pink – walking as breast cancer fighters and breast cancer survivors. There were about 600 same-day registrations (please see note above), which meant 3 of us were at laptops typing away for the first two hours. There was a fun run for kids, a Pump-a-Palooza for women in pink heels (I missed this and I would have loved to see this part), and a combined 5K/10K. While it’s more efficient to start a 5K and 10K at the same time, it is definitely more complicated for us timers in terms of figuring out the top finishers. It’s easy to figure out who won the 5K… but once you get to 35/40 minutes, we literally have to make judgement calls of “That guy looks like a 10K runner” or “Nope, they’re definitely just a slow 5K-er.” Of course, we have the computers and trackers to give the final call… but we definitely get judgey.
Monday was Columbus Day, so I decided to time a race on my day off. I headed to Wakefield to Lake Quannapowitt (don’t ask me how you pronounce that) for the Harrington’s Pub Road Race, which benefits the Wakefield High School Cross Country and Track & Field teams. Talk about a race on the complete other end of the spectrum! We had maybe just over 150 runners ( and remember, Sunday’s race had 4,000 !). Probably about 50 same day registrations. Easy-peasy. Runners did a single lap around the lake – probably about a 6K although the race is listed as a 5K. It was prefaced by a kids fun-run, where the Wakefield High School Cross Country coach told me several times that I look just like one of his former students, and he couldn’t get over how similar I looked. Too funny. I worked the race with my favorite co-timers, a young married couple who likes to bring their dogs with them. Jen is the first female lead timer in the company and she and her hubs have been trying to teach me the ropes so that I might be the 2nd one.
This weekend I have another two races. Now that I’m not travelling every weekend, I have more time available for races. And, since it’s getting colder, the races are starting later in the morning, which means I can still get a run in before hitting the road to wherever the race of the may be. This weekend, one race will be in Hopkinton – where the Boston Marathon is – and I’m excited to go there for the first time.
I’ll close with this picture of the cool mist coming off the Lake in Wakefield this past weekend.