2013 San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon – Hams Needed

DSCF1493Ham Radio Operators are still needed to set up and coordinate the starting of the official timer clocks at every mile marker along the route. 

This year’s event coordination is being done by ham radio as usual.   Lee N5NTG is the coordinator for the ham radio operators working the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon on Sunday, November 17th.

AARO is our sister ham club sponsoring the communications for this event, and we’d like to help them out.  All volunteers will get a free t-shirt, and yes, they do have the larger sizes as well.

Typical Duties of the Hams: 

  • Friday, November 15th – Hams will be picking up their timer clocks at 6pm from Alamo  Dome Parking Lot “B” (off Cherry Street, north of Caesar Chavez, aka Durango).  There will be a briefing for all volunteers, t-shirts and extra maps will be passed out, and timer clocks distributed.
  • Saturday, November 16th – Hams should locate and verify their assigned locations during daylight hours, and compare available routes with the Marathon route and closure lists.  The actual mile marker location should have a written description provided to you, but the street should be marked with either paint or orange duct tape looking arrows.
  • Sunday, November 17th – Hams should be at their assigned locations, way before the race is scheduled to start. Wear your event t-shirt for identification and put your placard in the window to help you with local law enforcement.  Remember there will be a bicycle ride prior to the event, so the route will be closed earlier than you may think.

DO NOT PARK DIRECTLY ON THE ROUTE. Park your vehicle nearby in a safe spot, but the road itself must remain open from curb to curb.  You can park on a sidewalk, driveway (with permission of property owner, if available), nearby parking lot, etc.. Use good judgment when choosing your parking area as close to the timer clock position as possible.  You may need to walk a short distance to your clock to be ready to flip the on switch when announced.

Roads along the route will be closed early Sunday morning, especially the parts of the routes closest to the starting line (Cherry Street & East Commerce).  Some positions will receive “all access passes” to aid in getting to your position, but these passes do not allow you to drive on the route once the race has begun and runners are present.

Mile Marker signs will be getting dropped off that morning by crews driving large trucks (Penske, U-Haul, whatever) and might not get to the last half of the route as soon as the assigned hams.

Come early. Plan on a minimum of a 6am arrival on site, or earlier. Plan bringing your own water, drinks, snacks, etc. Come prepared for the weather. It might rain (40% chance predicted).  Test your radios prior to the event morning.  Lee will disclose which repeater is being used, to those who volunteer, via email.

The Race starts early Sunday morning at 7:30am, but there are pre-race events happening starting at 6:45am.   There is a bicycle ride that will cover all but the bottom section of the route (south of Loop 410, Mission Parkway area).  The wheelchairs will start off around 7:25am, prior to the actual races starting at 7:30am.  The runners will be released in waves of 1,000 runners each to space them out, with the faster marathon runners being generally in the first chute of 1,000.

After the last runner / walker has passed your location, there will be a “turtle” van following them, along with some other police vehicles, etc.  For the last half of the race on the full marathon course, there may be shuttle busses and an ambulance in the final line-up.  The same large trucks who dropped off the mile marker signs, will be picking them up, along with your timer clocks.  Put the timer clock back in the case it came in, fold up the tripod carefully (don’t pinch yourself), and leave it sitting on the curb by the mile marker sign.  We are planning to be running APRS this year for the lead and turtle vehicles.

If the weather is cold, the runners will begin the run wearing extra “throw away” clothing. As they warm up, or as the temperature increases, they will begin to take off and discard that extra clothing.  Don’t be alarmed, this isn’t the “Naked Bicycle Ride” that the Austin hams get to help out with.   There is a procedure in place, for a group of folks to follow after the race picking up the discarded clothing. They will wash it and donate it to St. Vincent De Paul or another charity organization.

Please contact Lee N5NTG via email at lee@besing.com to get more information, or call him on his cell phone (210) 771-7075 (voice/text). Please leave a message if you reach his voicemail.

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