RMS volunteer coordinator, you’re 0 for 2

A letter to the Richmond Multisports’ volunteer coordinator detailing my volunteer experience at the Pink Power Triathlon in Midlothian, VA. My one and only suggestion for improving the experience at your next race… Pick Me!

Dear Richmond Multisports volunteer coordinator,

Your run course captain has failed… again. You are now 0 for 2.

Based on the fact that you didn’t choose me to be a captain, I’m guessing you missed my volunteer report for Rockett’s Landing. And your run course captain clearly missed my tips for coordinating volunteers during a race, being that he failed to show up. I should have been more clear in stating that

“I like to sleep in on Sunday mornings” is not a highly sought after quality for volunteers of any kind.

My Pink Power Tri volunteer experience went a little something like this

I arrived promptly at 5:30 – just like you asked – ready to lend a helping hand. You promptly checked me in (which was appreciated), but immediately told me to “sit tight” until my captain arrived. I knew right away he wouldn’t show.

So I waited… more volunteers arrived… we waited… and waited. 50 minutes later (yeah, five-zero), at 6:20, one of your staff finally asked us why 20 volunteers were standing in the grass, doing nothing. Then you tasked the backup run captain with instructing us on what to do.

He wasn’t much of a backup. He had no map & very little idea what to do. He grabbed a large, laminated map, started pointing to random intersections and sending us off one by one. He said,

“We’ve got a small road here… uhh, looks like a sub-division… [pause] … someone raise their hand.”

That was my assignment.

Although, I’ll tell you, you owe that man a big thank you. Tom McMahon did a great job, all things considered. Before the runners were out on the course, he drove around making sure we had water, and gave us his cell phone number, just in case.

I don’t know what it is with the run course, but y’all just can’t seem to get it right. Mike West is 2 for 2 being the bike course captain. He did an excellent job at Rockett’s Landing, and again today at Pink Power.

I can’t tell you how to coordinate an event. I’ve never worn your shoes, so I don’t know what it’s like on race morning. But I can offer suggestions on how to make your events (more specifically, the volunteer experience) run more smoothly, and I sincerely hope you take them into consideration.

I’ll even make it simple. One suggestion. All that I ask.

  1. Make me the run course captain for Napier Realtor’s Richmond Sprint Triathlon on October 10th

… and I’ll take it from there.

Just as John Fogerty said many years ago, I now say to you. “Put me in coach. I’m ready to play.”

Running Wild,
Dave

4 thoughts on “RMS volunteer coordinator, you’re 0 for 2”

  1. Are you forwarding these post to Richmond Multisports? Because you need to. And I would be happy to pass along your nomination for Run Course Captain if necessary! Thanks for coming out today!

  2. I do plan to personally talk to them about being a captain for the next race. And I appreciate your offer for a nomination, but I don’t think it’ll be necessary.

    Congrats again on a great race!

  3. You should totally call Laurie – she is very cool and would probably appreciate your feedback as well. You’ve got my vote!

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