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May 20, 2012

behind the scenes

Last week was race week at work as we executed the Medtronic TC 1 Mile on Thursday night. It's incredible what goes into planning a one-mile race, not to mention event day execution. Here's a high-level look at what happened race day:

The day begins with truck load-in. Anybody who is willing and able helps out. Signs, water, kitty litter (to throw on peoples' barf at the finish- no lie), clocks... everything goes in.

hooray, interns!

After the manual labor portion is complete, I head back to my office to check our social media accounts, which includes checking to see what our athletes are tweeting about, hoping to find some fodder for the media luncheon that afternoon. Because I'm going to be out of the office for the rest of the day, I plan out some tweets and updates that I'll do from my phone later, since I likely won't see a computer until after the luncheon. 

The media luncheon (a press conference with food) is scheduled to begin at noon. There's more manual labor involved as we set up a backdrop and signs, move around tables and lay out media guides. I change out of jeans into a dress in the hotel bathroom. Shortly before we're supposed to start, we find out that two of our athletes that were supposed to sit on the panels are running late. Stalling ensues. 

I also get a call about a major technical glitch with registration, meaning I have to hop online to update some information on our website. This means I won't be able to sit in on the Q & A portion of the luncheon and I send an intern in to live-tweet instead. 

Everything else goes smoothly and soon the media luncheon is over, everyone well-fed and happy. All the elite athletes stay for a technical meeting where we review the course, rules, etc. with all of them. We also give them their race numbers and t-shirts. 

After a quick lunch, set up begins, including the photo booth that my volunteer committee will be managing. It involved a few test shots trying to get the angle and lighting right. 

this is my what's the most awkward thing I can do right now? pose

Throughout everything, I'm still tweeting pictures and responding to people. Soon runners start to trickle in and I see a lot of companies that I had been tweeting with earlier and meet them in real life (many people were part of the Corporate Team Challenge and wore t-shirts identifying their team, making them easy to find). My favorite was probably Ginger Hop's. 

their shirts say, if it were easy, they'd call it your mom.

 I also see friends, and jump in this photo with Carrisa, Brady, Ann and Kat.



Once the race begins, waves go off approximately every ten minutes. I take pictures and tweet from the start line. Right before the final citizen wave goes off, my committee and I tear down the photo booth and load it into the truck. Just as we're about to book it to the finish line, the race director pulls me aside and says we might need to go find more water. On it. 

I literally run to the finish line (in jeans and a backpack) and check the water situation. With only the elite waves left to go, we should be okay on water, but just in case we head to a corner store and buy out their entire stock of gallon jugs of water, plus cups. We don't end up using it but better to be safe than sorry. 

The elites finish (lots of tweeting during this time) and then I facilitate interviews and confirm information for the media. After the awards ceremony, I head to a hotel lobby with WiFi and wait while our press release is written. We experience some technical difficulties with the computer and decide to send it out the next morning. By this time, it's like 9:30 and I'm getting hangry

We head to the official site of the post-race party and I get a reuben and a couple beers. Celebrating ensues and I don't leave there until after midnight, then stay up 'til 2 chatting. 



The next morning I'm up at 5:40 to catch a live-hit on KARE 11 that our executive director is doing. I send out a tweet or two about it. The elite hospitality suite opens at 7 a.m so rather than go back to bed, I chat with a few athletes that are there looking for coffee and pack up to head to the office. 

After getting into the office, I send out our press release, upload pictures our photographer sent us to Facebook, review all comments on our accounts and respond as needed. I also update our website, write our Weekly Rundown post for the TCM blog, and write and send a post-race email to all participants. By this time (3 p.m.), I can hardly see straight and I head home to nap.

After a short nap, I head to my grandparents' to wish my Grandpa a happy birthday. I wear running clothes there so I can squeeze in a quick run before heading home for the night. 

And that, my friends, is a day (two, actually) in the life of a Communications Specialist.

2 comments:

  1. LOVED this recap. So awesome to see/learn about the behind-the-scenes. :)

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  2. I love this! It was so neat to hear a recap of the full day (well, 36 hours). I hope you've caught up on some zzzs and properly celebrated the completion of a great event!

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