Course Marshalling still in the blood

I’ve still got the course marshalling in my blood. Pete asked me earlier if I would be interested in course marshalling for a 2.1 mile 4-man relay run at Golden Gate Park today, and I decided, why not. This involved leading and trailing the runners, almost like what the CHP’s do to lead out the pelaton, and the End of Convoy truck signifying the end of the pack.

Here’s the funny part … once I said yes, the course organizer decided they didn’t need Pete … that’s odd, especially since they had reservations about me with my bike, a folder, and not a mountain bike, which is what they highly recommend. Weird.
I know why they wanted a mountain bike … there was one part, where there was a steep pitch, and on wet grass. It was not the steepness that was the problem, but the combination of grass, steep pitch, slight mudiness, and I didn’t have knobbies on my tires. I just had slicks, and I just could not get up it. So I just had to get off, and climb the last 10 feet on my feet.
This was a lot of fun, as you had all sorts of levels. Some of these runners were amazing … they were running like gazelles, and I had to work just to get ahead of them. However, my job was to be the end of the convoy, so that the course organizers knew who the last runner was. This got kind of hairy, as the slowest runner was getting lapped. So once the slowest runner relayed it, the next runner was really fast … so fast that he passed a few other runners ahead, who were on the 2nd leg, and it was hard to determine who was the last position in the race. Eventually, I saw one runner, who was walking it, and asked if she was the 2nd or 3rd leg … she was the 2nd, so that was the new last position in the race. Everyone knew that when I passed, I was the last position, or the end of convoy.
Now, when this last runner came to the finish to relay to the next person, there was no next person to relay off to. Ooops … I think they went for a bathroom break. So this person worked so hard to get back, so as to not be so far behind, and has no one to relay off to. About 3 minutes later, the next person shows up … so not only is this team in last place, there was even more delay, due to a bathroom break.
The next runner was pretty fast, so I had to work to keep up, but I eventually did, as soon as she lost steam.
Course marshalling a run while on a bike may seem like not much work, but don’t fool yourself … it is a lot of work. Even though it was only 2.1 mile lap, and 4 laps, it felt like more work than just an 8.4 mile course … my body felt like I did a 40 mile ride. Part of this was because I was on my folder, and no clipless pedals, and the other part was that I had slick tread on my tires. The stats may not show much, but I did work my butt off today. This is the closest I have come to riding a mountain bike in the last 4 years … consensus … I’m not missing much.
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