Guess what? It’s that time of the year again, TARS is continuing its long history of supporting the Tallahassee Marathon with the Capital District ARES at the helm. This is its 42st iteration and is an entirely different course this year. Ensuring safety is a critical aspect of any event and we provide that as community service with our communication support.
The race this year is scheduled for Sunday, February 7 at 7:30AM. The course is going the full twenty six miles with a split for the half marathon, this means more checkpoints on our end. As usual, there is a six hour cut off for the full marathon, in addition to that, there is a strict cutoff of 10:30AM for the first half of the course. All runners can continue to run, but they must do this on the sidewalk and at their own risk. Runners who fall into this category are no longer part of the race.
Just as the marathon relies on volunteers to make the magic happen, we need volunteers as well to man our checkpoints. As of this moment, we have 17 hams who have stepped up to the plate and I thank them for that. Since this is a new course, a new list of checkpoints is currently being devised. As it stands now, we are looking at 19 checkpoints and several support positions, NCS, a rover, sag wagon, TEC and at minimal 1 medic. Overall, we’re looking at roughly 25 positions needed.
Everyone is welcome! If you’re a new ham, an old timer or have never worked a public service event, this is a great opportunity to get some experience under your belt and have a great time (not to mention, getting out of the shack for a few hours). Once our list of checkpoints is finalized, we’ll know what repeater will be used and if certain positions really need a mobile radio. Don’t let that discourage you from volunteering, HT’s are welcome. As long as you have a 2m radio or possibly a 70cm, you are good to go!
Beyond having a radio, the only other requirement is having a reflective vest. If you want to support the “League”, by all means buy or use your ARRL yellow vest. If you don’t have one, there are several places in town you may purchase one that is nice and bright yellow. I purchased mine at a sporting goods store for around $10, but they have them at Harbor Freight for less than that.
At this point, I haven’t determined a meeting point for maps, t-shirts and doughnuts. It will be around 6:30 am. Given the length of the course, on air checkings are acceptable and I will have a list of times you’ll need to be there per position. For the most part, the “front 9” will be very early due to road closures.
For those that wish to participate, please contact me so I can get your information: name, call sign, phone, email and T-Shirt size. I will do my best to ensure that all volunteers get a shirt and if I have to, I will camp out like it is Black Friday!
Interested? You can contact me a few different ways, by email (email@example.com, preferred), phone: (850) 345-4048, on the air (nightly nets) or the next club meeting.
John Pantoja, KM4FAM