Monday, March 9, 2009

Surviving the Race - Part One

Photo of "Come and Take It" cannon from the Texas Independence Relay website used to start the runners.

One of the lessons that real life will teach you is that no matter how prepared you are there are still things that can and will go wrong. After working support for the Texas Independence Relay this weekend, I found that even the best preparations aren’t always enough and you have to be resourceful enough to realize what’s working and what isn’t. You need to be flexible and ready to make the necessary changes so that you will survive. Hopefully, any failure of your preparations and planning won’t cause serious problems with your planning and the ability to cope with adversity can help you be successful even if something does go wrong!

My original plan was interrupted by having to go into work for a couple of days but I was able to get back on track on Friday once again. I spent most of Friday afternoon loading up my BOV (bug out vehicle) in preparation for the race. It was designated Van # 1 of two that we used to carry our runners. I also did a thorough check of all the mechanical systems to make sure everything was in good working order. After over 25 hours of constant running time during the race, the vehicle performed well and except for a little drive belt slippage that caused a squeaking noise at idle the van performed as good as could be expected.

There were so many great experiences involved with my participation in The Texas Independence Relay that it will take a number of articles to cover it all. There were some problems along the way but most of our preparations easily solved them and they became a non factor. One major safety issue was encountered along the way but after speaking to Governor Rick Perry about the problem, a solution was implemented that solved a serious safety problem for all the runners. Governor Perry is into running and is well known to most of the runners in the Austin area. I believe he may have been instrumental in the solution being enacted quite rapidly. I’ll get into a little more detail about that in a later post. RW Jr. also made sure he got a picture of me with the Governor but for obvious reasons it probably won’t get posted.

I should also give a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers, the citizens of the small towns along the way, fire and EMS crews and local law enforcement for their excellent help and support during the race. Their support was a crucial part of making the race a success. Special thanks are also in order for the local law enforcement of Houston for keeping the runners safe while running through the streets and parks in downtown Houston.

I also plan to put a few pictures of events along the way and happenings during each leg of the race that we participated in along the way. I had a great time and it was a valuable learning experience. My intention is to help everyone learn from my experience so that they will be able to better cope with any adverse situation that may happen.

Our team of runners from Austin finished the entire race of 203.2 miles in 25 hours! Excellent job team!


Pickdog said...

that is awesome RW!!

riverwalker said...

To: Pickdog

It was a unique experience and I've got a lot of great tips and tricks coming up with future posts.
The planning and logistics for such an undertaking was staggering!



Anonymous said...

Thanks RW for all your help and support during the event! You and Jr were a great support crew and made the journey much easier for all the runners. Everyone was grateful to have you be a part of the team! I look forward to your additional postings.

-Mike the Tall (nephew of RW)

riverwalker said...

To: Mike the Tall

Enjoyed every minute of it!Tell everyone it was a great learning experience for me. Hope to do it again in the future (after I get a little rest!).

Uncle RW

Mayberry said...

Logistics always seems to be a royal pain. Glad everything went well for ya RW! Looking forward to what insights this brought ya!

riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

It could have been a logistics nightmare but with good planning and preparation it became a very unique experience. I really am excited about letting everyone know about the different aspects of my experience. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Way to go!

I was a volunteer at the race, and I thought it was terrific that teams had support like you!

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:09

My thanks should be going out to you. The volunteers were a very important part of what made the race so successful. Thanks a bunch!


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