Superior Fall Trail Race 2015 Volunteer Email 4 Markers and Sweepers Only

Date: Wednesday September 2nd, 2015
Subject: Superior Fall Trail Race 2015 Volunteer Email 4 – Markers and Sweepers Only

Hi All,

Thank you for helping with “marking and sweeping” for the 2015 Superior Fall Trail Race – we cannot thank you enough for the selfless giving of your time.  I know this is a long email, but please take the time to read it and print and review the attachments! Please get in touch with any questions.

We are excited to have such an outstanding Marking and Sweeping crew again for this years race!  You should have received my general emails to all volunteers already, but if not, they can be found HERE

Matt Long (the marking and sweeping coordinator) may be in touch with you regarding some more specifics for marking and sweeping but I just wanted to drop a line in advance to say thank you to all of you for your help.  Just about all of you are return marking and / or sweeping volunteers and those that are not will get paired up with people who have experience to learn the trade!

For marking we will meet on Thursday Sept. 10th at 6:30 AM at Caribou Highlands Townhome (Lutsen) Unit #540 (room assignments are also attached) HERE is a diagram of the property though for a general idea of where you will be going you are welcome and encouraged to come on Wednesday afternoon / evening and stay, Again, I will be sending a lodging plan again this year, the volunteer turnout this year is so great again that space is at a premium, as always make sure you have a sleeping bag / pad and pillow in case all of the beds are taken – there is a pullout in the living room(s) and plenty of floor space.

John Pitera and Kathrine Patterson will be cooking dinner on Wednesday night for anyone that is around / wants to eat – lets plan on around 7PM, please let us know if you want to join so we know on how many to plan for!  If someone wants to bring a dessert that would be great.

For marking, make sure that you have something to carry water in, preferably a pack of some kind since you will be carrying flags.  Bring the normal nutrition items you would bring when doing a run and we will also provide some sandwiches, chips and a cookie for you to bring out on the trail (kindly donated by the Delta Diner in Delta WI).  We will have a quick briefing before we leave regarding marking protocol, do’s and don’ts etc. and maybe a quick demonstration.  I have also attached a .PDF should anyone like to look it over explaining the fundamentals of our marking system.

For sweeping, your assignments have been made by Matt Long with a little input from yours truly – Matt will be coordinating and explaining how that whole process of getting sweepers where they need to be and back to vehicles will work and I won’t claim to know the specifics, that’s his expertise.  As always, the function of the “sweep” is three-fold, pick up our flagging material and signage, picking up any garbage dropped by runners (a plastic grocery store bag or Zip-Lock works great) and most importantly, look for any runners who may be in trouble on the trail.  Matt Long, likely with some help from Don Clark, will personally handle the enforcement of the cutoffs – this is a tough job that nobody envies and requires the right touch.  IMPORTANT, we want to get the timing chip and or bib # of any runner that is dropping and get this info reported to the HAM Radio Operators and ultimately get the chips / bibs back to the finish for physical verification.
Again this year we are super excited to have Joy Parker on our medical team – she will again be providing “roving” medical support and the sweepers will be seeing her from time to time, so if you bring in a runner that is bumped or bruised, having an allergic reaction from a bee-sting or worse, Joy can help (or can be dispatched by the HAMS to help), she will also be carrying an AED and a EpiPen – obviously the course is spread out and she cannot be everywhere at once but she is a resource for us.  Joy will be joined by Han and Steph Taylor (who have marked and swept with us many times before) who can assist with accessing the trail and evacuation for non-life-threatening / non-emergencies, for any major emergencies / incidents we will call 911.  Joy, Han and Steph will have to get some rest at some point but will be available the majority of the time – Joy has a helper Chalayne Palmgren who is an EMT / Firefighter who will be assisting.  Lisa Messerer will be at County Road 6 – Lisa is a nurse with alot ultra experience.  We will have Jason Buffington a Duluth MD at the Finland Aid Station.  Again this year we will also have a doctor at the finish line – Dimitri Djrekonja, he is a trail runner as well and has competed in several Superior Trail Races, Jason Buffington will also be joining him at the finish on Saturday.

As always emergencies and communications should be routed through the HAM Radio Operators, they are at all the aid stations but can also be reached by calling Caribou Highlands (800) 642-6036 Room#106, this is the HAM Radio NET Control, from there they can attempt to reach / notify just about anybody of anything via radios, phone, cell etc. – if you are on the trail and need to attempt to make a call the trick when on is in getting up high / on a ridge if possible, if you can do that you can usually get cell coverage – each group on the sweep should try to have at least one charged cell phone with them.  We will plan to send a few very small first aid kits with the sweeps so there is one on every sweep.

Finally, I have attached the marking and sweeping assignments that we put together (they will be on the website as well HERE – contact info omitted for web version ) but these versions have everyone’s contact info, which is mostly going to be important for Matt and the crew to coordinate during the sweep and in the event of emergencies – these are subject to some slight tweaks but we think these are pretty close.

A quick reminder about this weekends mission.  We are here to mark the trail for the runners and sweep after with safety being the over-riding theme.  Please remember that when on the sweep we want to cover the course slowly and methodically paying attention to our surroundings and making sure nobody is in trouble – last year we had a runner go off course and wander in the woods for nearly 9 hours, it can happen.  Some people may find that the amount of work we gave them is right at their limit and others may find that it is quite doable – please enjoy the weekend, enjoy the race and enjoy your fellow markers and sweepers – if feel like you don’t have enough to do its because we do not want to push anyone to their limit, we need to be sharp and strong in order to handle an emergency should it come up.  If you would like to get to a sweep early or stay later you are welcomed and encouraged to ask the aid station captains if you can chip in somehow, that is what makes this race great!

Matt will expand on this where needed and can answer questions etc. – please reach out and coordinate with one and other, that is how this works best!  If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask.  We are looking forward to another great year on the SHT!  You guys are awesome and I feel blessed to get to work with you on this race / this awesome project!

Thank You,

John Storkamp
Race Director
Superior Trail Races