Monday, September 30, 2013

Where to Stick Pins

by Steve Moland

Do NOT put the boxes of PINS on the tables where folks pick up numbers, shirts or do race day entry. It's simple, put them over on some other table and let folks waste time there as they diddle and fiddle counting out pins. They are runners, they can walk somewhere else as part of the process. You don't have give them cradle to grave service for all things at one single place. That method is time-line poison for having late starts.

It's SIMPLE MATH. If it takes 5 seconds to count out 4 pins, the 13th person in line is waiting an extra minute, the 25th is 2 minutes, 37th, 3 minutes. Sadly, it actually takes about 10 seconds to count out and pick up 4 pins so the hold up for the 20th person is 4 minutes. do the math on hundreds or thousands of people.
Another sinister thing about slow lines is that anything that delays the person currently being served creates the likelihood that they will get chatty with your volunteers and politeness dictates you can't just say; "Please stop talking and let us serve the next person." 

Oh yes, at this point if you "get it" about the pins, you should have figured out that putting your SHIRTS behind the number pick up table is an even bigger delay than the pins. Put your shirts across the room so all your lines have room to form.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

There's a lot to like about Lowell

I put closure on our permitting process with the City of Lowell yesterday. I had good conversations with Deputy Ryan of the Lowell Police Department and Chris Samaris, who is Andy St. Onge’s replacement. Both were very accommodating and helpful in going through the new permitting process. This did not surprise me; I’ve been involved with organizing races in the city since 1980 and Lowell has always had a welcoming attitude towards runners. During that time some of the best races in New England have been held in the city. How many of you remember the Great Oktoberfest Marathon, The Dubliner (or just Dub) 5-Miler, Jim Witt Road Race, Lowell Elk’s Half Marathon, Run Your Turkey Off, Grab Bag Road Race, Friends of Lowell High 10K, Cappy’s Copper Kettle and the fabulous East End Road Race? Sadly these events and many others have faded into our collective past, but their memories will live in our minds forever. Today these events have been replaced with new events such as the Kerouac 5K, Bay State Marathon, Super 5K, Thanks4Giving and the resurrected Traditional Hynes Road Race. So I guess the cycle of great races in the city continues, but I sure miss the East End Road Race.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Face Book

I finally got around to creating a Good Times Face book group. This is something I have wanted to do for sometime, but never seemed to find the time. The Good Times running community is very interactive and this is a good way for folks who are interested to stay in touch. You can access the group from the front page of the Good Times website. Look for the Face book logo. I am immersed in technology with my work on and Yankee Timing; however I am still amazed at how quickly we can communicate. I remember a time when I was on the road and had to make an important call about a job. I was unable to find a pay phone and missed out on an opportunity. When people complain about today’s technology, I just recall the day when my future depended on a dime and a pay phone. I’ll take today’s technology any time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thinking of Andy St. Onge

Registrations for season passes are rolling in at a record pace. After a long hard winter it looks like folks are ready for some Good Times. I visited with Mike Callery, owner of Hookslide Kelly’s, this past weekend. Mike was heading up a pre St Patrick’s Day pub crawl. In Lowell, St Patty’s Day is a week long celebration. The crawl started from Hookslide and they hit most of the Irish bars in downtown Lowell. By my calculations that would be at least nine stops within a few blocks. I caught up with them towards the end. Mike and I went over the final details for our Opening Nite 5K on April 7. This includes meeting with the new special events coordinator at City Hall. Sadly longtime special events coordinator Andy St. Onge passed away suddenly past fall at the young age of 52. Andy was one of the biggest advocates of running you could find in Lowell. He would often appear at the post race party of many of our Tuesday night runs. He had to stop running a few years prior to his passing due to injuries, however he always remained a fan of the sport. I dealt with him for many years and he was always a pleasure to work with and the consummate professional. He will definitely be missed.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Medal Meanderings

We just finished up a very successful Wild Rover Series. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it consists of three races run on consecutive Sundays and measuring 3, 4 and 5 miles respectively. For finishing each race you are awarded a medal. Medals from all three races combine to make a much larger medal. This year I was amazed at the number of people who requested medals for races they did not run. One person even went to the trouble of contacting the manufacturer in hopes of getting a medal for one of the series’ races they missed. Maybe they thought that paying an entry fee entitled them to be awarded a finishers’ medal. Well folks that’s why they are called “finisher” medals. The “finishing” part is what makes them worth something of value. We adhere to a similar policy at the Good Times Series. Our Golden Mylie is awarded to anyone who finishes all ten races. Finishing nine races because [plug in reason here] just won’t cut it. You have to finish all ten series’ races. This is an accomplishment worthy of a Golden Mylie; hey, we’ll even engrave your name on the back.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Social Networking

Last night I decided to do a Google search on Good Times. I should have anticipated the search would lead me to numerous links to the 1970’s classic TV show staring Jimmie Walker. I then decided to narrow my search down to Good Times 5K. To my amazement I was led to a site that just made me laugh out loud. It stated, “An unofficial, unauthorized and uncouth gathering place for the drunken reprobates that run the weekly Good Times 5K series on Tuesday nights in the historic Mill City of Lowell Massachusetts. Why not join the usual suspects for a nice run down by the river?” Make sure you click on the usual suspects. I hope you find it as funny as I did. There’s also a countdown to GT5K – very inventive. It looks like Ed H. (aka EJ, BadDawg) is the mastermind behind it all. It may by ‘unauthorized” but it gets my approval – hey, does that make it authorized?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Video from last year's Good Times Series

We had loads of fun recording this video last summer. We asked a simple question, "What time is it?" Only Dave Tyler, who peeked at his watch, and Dave LaBrode who answered "Good Times" got it correct. However after running the Good Times course and having a bit of fun at Hookslide Kelly's does anyone really care what time it is?