Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Marathon Weeks

I feel like we have had so much going on lately, with not a lot of time to recoup and even less time to tell the blogosphere about it (which actually makes me laugh a little that my Frontrunner experience had such apparent precedence. Truly, it was life-changing). But we have pictures, people... pictures! And that demands a little recap action on the blog.

First out of the gates (and the namesake of this post): The Salt Lake City Marathon. Every once in a while, it hits me that I have a pretty sweet job. That's right. I admit it. My name is Allison Riley and I don't hate my job. For the past few months, I've had the opportunity to do the PR for the Marathon. And though somedays I think I was probably even more worn out than the people training for the thing, race day was totally the gu icing on the carbo-loaded cake.

I'm always impressed by how much you can accomplish with your day when you set your alarm for 3:30 a.m. By 4:30, I was showered, dressed and out the door armed with my big ol' back pack of fun. (Which weighed somewhere in the vicinity of car battery or small child. Hence the dramatic lean in this early a.m. shot...)

On my drive to the starting line I had plenty of time to think about the day ahead as I waited at EACH RED LIGHT along the way. Evidently Mayor Becker is not eradicating the stoplight syncing issue until world peace abounds, though, so I didn't write my city councilman or anything. But seriously, I am the ONLY one out here at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday. A little help?

There was something really exciting about the starting line. A lot of pacing to keep warm and chatting among strangers - a bunch of people about to embark on something huge together. And even though some would finish in 2 hours and others would be several beyond that, there was a shared sense of camaraderie that was fun to witness. The work side of the morning was fun, too. After getting Channel 4 situated and checking in with Channel 5, I met up with the rest of our starting line team and we literally hugged the barricades on the race side of the divide as thousands of runners came barreling past. "Barreling" is a bit of a stretch. I was actually a little surprised by how slowly the herd seemed to take off. Then again, there were 13,000 of them. And they did have 26.1 left to go.

From there, we hopped in the car, flashed our VIP creds in a very "it's okay, I'm a limo driver" manner, and headed to the finish line. Lauren, our adorable and grammatically fabulous administrative assistant joined our PR team for the madness as our feature writer. She rode in the lead vehicle that stayed just ahead of the lead athletes and was able to catch the action minute by minute. So she called every few miles to let us know which athletes were contending for first. I, in turn, relayed the information the media perched at the finish line. We continued this little dance for a few minutes until Lauren called to let me know bib numbers 2, 5 and 6 were only about 1/2 mile out. And in crazy-fast marathoners time, that's only about 2 minutes. I relayed the info to the media then thought, "well, I'm not going anywhere." So I squatted out of the cameras' way and waited for the finishers. It was pretty amazing to soak everything in at that moment and realize I really was just chilling inches from the finish line of the Salt Lake City Marathon.

As more and more runners passed the finish line, our PR team basically resembled a group of proverbial chickens with our heads cut off. But somehow in the chaos of runners, bikers, aluminum foil blankets and one poor soul who lost her breakfast as she crossed the finish line - we were able to secure interviews, complete and distribute the final press release, facilitate the timing results to the Salt Lake Tribune, avert a crisis and smile for this photo...

All in a day's work.

14 comments:

Kate Gildea said...

It looks like everything went well! Yeah, congrats on a job well done!

Brandon and Erica said...

Wow. You have a cool job.
Jealous.

Nathan S. said...

You made it sound so easy!!!!

greg and lauren said...

seriously, you're amazing at your job. you were made for pr. it was fun working with you yesterday. thanks for letting me help out.

Natalie said...

That sounds crazy! I so glad {and jealous} at how much you love your job and how great it is for you!

Did Noah tell you I called? I called you back about the Kabobs the second I got your email. By the time I woke up, I knew you probably had it taken care of, but I just wanted to make sure. How did it go? I have a few similar recipes on Hot Garlic, mostly Satay kind of stuff. I will get working on some Kabob ones, I just started thinking about it.

Whitney said...

i love how you and schwey have bonded! you guys rocked this event!

Natalie said...

You are such a good PR chick! I love it, love that I know you!

The Bryger Family said...

That sounds like a pretty big day! But at least you are smiling that early in the morning, very impressive.

Kasey

Amy said...

What a cool job!!! Sounds like a great event and like you guys did a great job!

cacrowell said...

What a great job!!! Marathons are amazing to watch--sometimes they're a little brutal on people! Sorry about all the red lights in a row--that's the worst!! Say hello to Utah for us!

"Duellie" said...

Hey, I know those people! What a cool day that was. I was glad to be a part of it!

Ben and Missy said...

What a fun job! I'll bet you meet lots of interesting people. Very cool.

Sarah & Trent said...

You are indeed one funny blogger. I loved the forts pictures!

Way to go on helping all those poor marathoners, I know they appreciated all you did! I must say, you really do have to start out slower than you'd like to, especially at Boston, I swear I didn't break out of the PACK until mile 7 or 8!
Your job really is super great for you!

Candace said...

I really hate how I'm resting my head on Aaron's shoulder in this photo. I'll send a censored version to replace it (well, I won't go that far).