09 Mar Timing is Everything – Wounded Warriors
Another one of my many jobs is working for SoCal Cross. I’ve helped with timing at their race series for a few years now. On our offseason, which is from January to September, there are other races that we help time, and the 2 most prominent ones are for the Wounded Warrior Project. One of them is with the US Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas and the other one is with the US Marines in Camp Pendleton in Oceanside.
These two races are usually held weeks apart, but for some reason this year, they occurred on the same weekend of March 2nd and 3rd.
This meant we had to travel to Las Vegas on Friday, March 1st and be ready to time on Saturday, March 2nd, then leave immediately to Oceanside that same day to be ready to work early the next morning on March 3rd.
Our team of 4 bonded, prepped for the race in the hotel on the March 1st and successfully completed our task at Nellis Air Force Base. This was done with extreme conditions.
Going Bad Fast
We had 3 generators fail on us continuously. This meant that we weren’t able to accurately track competitors as they crossed the finish line and had to rely on what we call hand scorer’s record keeping. Many of the race participants had their numbers pinned on their torsos, which made reading it as they passed near impossible.
As a result of this, we didn’t have an accurate account of each racer’s passing. Fortunately, we were able to put the results together (this was primarily the job of my partner, Kyla) without much issues besides the printer running out of ink and we had mistakenly bought the wrong ink as a replacement.
If you thought that wasn’t crazy enough, we had some extreme wind hit us in the middle of the race that sent a canopy tent sailing through the air. A huge gust dislodged it free from the weights we had on the legs. It ended up in the middle of the course just as a participant was riding through and unfortunately ran into it.
Luckily, she only sustained minor injuries, but was disqualified from the race.
For the rest of the day, we were on our toes, ready for anything unexpected. What usually is an easy race to time became something very challenging. When it all ended at 13:30, we were glad to put away our stuff and get out of Dodge.
Learning From Our Lesson
We played it safe and bought a new battery backup so that if it happens in San Diego, we have more time to react. We made sure to have this battery charged up overnight so we don’t run into power issues. We swapped the ink cartridge for the correct one. We made sure we had a plan going into Sunday.
Fortunately, I’m happy to report that Sunday went on without a hitch. We had 4 races which included a time trial at the end. Our system worked flawlessly, and we left Camp Pendleton exhausted from the work and the commute.
More to Come
The video above captures the highlights of the trip. Hopefully, this post gives you the background story of what happened.
I hope to do more “Timing is Everything” vlogs in the future. We have one coming up in about a week, so stay tuned! Also, let me know if you enjoyed this video or not in the comments below.