Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hey Rae, you were wonderful

In January, before I became club president, I nominated a volunteer coach in a couple of my training programs for club volunteer of the year for 2008. I am publishing the nomination I sent in to the selection committee because it shows my thinking about what was important for the club. Let’s call my choice Rae, not her real name. All names have been removed for privacy sake.

Rae’s notable accomplishments:

Volunteer Coach for the club’s 10M/10K Program, summer 2008.

In this capacity, Rae created (along with two fellow coaches) and ran the Alternate Tuesday evening track workout program at the Yorktown High School track for the 10M Program. She created the track workout schedule, sent out regular e-mail updates about it with tips and encouragement, offered rides to it and regularly led the group on its runs.

Rae also organized a mid-Program Happy Hour, reserving a gathering place at a Clarendon restaurant for it, as well as a pre-race pasta dinner at a Ballston restaurant and a post-race bash at the Clarendon restaurant, complete with a cake. She set up a schedule of three speakers for the Program, who came to address the attendees before training runs on the importance of stretching, the choice of proper equipment, and injury prevention and physical therapy. She of course led her own small group of runners, working in close coordination with another coach to prepare the runners for the ATM, which several in her group successfully finished. She sent out weekly e-mails to her participants, each one of which contained an article on or summation of some important aspect of running such as hydration, nutrition, or preventing injury and icing and heat applications.

Rae's Extraordinary Intervention:

Most importantly, when her fellow coach brought in a runner after a nine-mile run who was acting a little strangely (he had purposefully and carefully kept running by her side and rested with her before they finally returned), Rae recognized the symptoms of dehydration, even though it wasn’t a hot or humid day, and assessed the runner, eventually taking the runner (along with the other coach) to the hospital when the runner exhibited some confusion. At the hospital, the runner received an IV infusion to replenish her fluids. A potentially serious situation was averted by the dedication, awareness and acquired knowledge of Rae and the other coach.

Both coaches took First Aid and CPR certification training in preparation for becoming club volunteer coaches.

RRCA Coaching Certification, Fall 2008.

Rae participated in a two-day training session along with several other club coaches to obtain her coaching certification. Rae participated in an informal group review session two weeks afterwards where the attendees carefully went over the test to ensure that they all understood the proposed answers and collectively submitted a passing test (a recommended study-session).

Volunteer Coach for the Reebok SunTrust National Half-Marathon Training Program, powered by the club, Fall 2008 & Winter 2009.

In this capacity, Rae volunteered to go to the Fleet Feet (Adams Morgan) site, a brand new Program location, and help that site director create the Half-Marathon Program running out of there, occasionally taking Full Marathon participants along with them on their training runs.

Rae created, along with two other coaches, the Tuesday Evening Beer & Burritos Run, a mid-week recovery run for Program participants that is well attended and has the potential for being a regular offering for the club as a whole. After a four mile loop run from Iwo along the Georgetown Waterfront, the participants have the opportunity to relax at a Rosslyn restaurant, enjoying a beer and some Mexican fare. Rae sends out weekly e-mails to the Fleet Feet participants (and anyone else who wants them) chock full of advice, training recommendations and well-researched running related articles.

Administrative Assistance:

In addition, Rae interfaced on behalf of the club with the Greater Washington Sports Alliance and Reebok, the race and Program sponsors, to create the early January "Test Ride" program, which included a Friday night gathering of Program and race participants at a District restaurant where information on the club, the race and running apparel was dispensed in an informal social setting. Attendees enjoyed appetizers (chosen and budgeted by Rae) and discounted drinks as they listened to a series of speakers, including two premier runners and the club president.

Rae spent dozens of hours organizing this joint project, finding the location, meeting with race personnel, offering creative ideas and proposing itineraries. She kept club Program directors [name] and myself fully informed along the way.

Although she recently has had a reoccurrence of an old nagging injury which prevents her from currently leading a group out on training runs, she regularly attends the Saturday morning gatherings anyway and assists in any way possible. She has lately taken on the task of ensuring that all club volunteer coaches receive their full allotment of Reebok technical apparel in the correct size to wear on Program training runs, and that all participants get their Program technical training shirts, in coordination with the GWSA and Reebok.

For Rae’s uncommon, productive and inspiring dedication to volunteerism at and for club functions, and especially for Rae’s alert, correct and caring monitoring and highly competent handling of the dangerous situation a distressed runner she encountered found herself in, I nominate Rae for the club 2008 Volunteer of the Year Award.

Club VP of Training

[I thought she was worthy. She didn’t win; rather, a board member won the award, which is a pretty regular occurrence.]

1 comment:

Sunshine said...

Really nice tribute. You have done great "reaching a hand" to encourage and to train.
The power grabbing in-fighting you describe sounds more like some church congregation than an organization that is about running?! Keep your good giving heart.