Date: Sunday June 20, 2021
Subject: Afton Trail Run Volunteer Email 2 2021 – To Aid Station Captains
AS 1/2: Brian K
AS 3/4 (Friday): Matt M
AS 3/4 (Saturday): Mark S
AS 5: Jeff M
AS 6: Alex B
Supply / Resupply / Cleanup-Loadout: Scott R, Robbie S, Jason H
Sweeping: Todd R
HAM Radio: Brendan J
Medical: Chalayne P
Finish Line: Dan M
[ I am BCC’ing you, just so nobody’s inbox gets blown up too badly in the coming days, but am sending you all the same note as the details I want to convey are pretty much the same for each aid station. The main objective of this email is to explain what this years aid stations will look like and to have you review your assigned volunteers / staffing thus far and if possible get back to me in the next day or two with any questions or concerns. ]
First off, thanks a TON for your help with Afton and for several of you, throughout this year’s modified race season thus-far. I look forward to seeing you all on Friday July 2 and Saturday July 3.
While many things at this year’s Afton Trail Run will be similar to this year’s Zumbro Endurance Run and Superior Spring Trail Race as far as the modifications go, some modifications are going away, and we are taking a step towards a little more normalcy on a few things. Afton will be a busier race than both Zumbro and Superior Spring as there are more runners per wave and per day, the state park is a busier venue with general-public visitors than Zumbro and Superior Spring, and we will be adding a few more amenities (and volunteers) to the aid stations. That said, it will still be much quieter than years past. Right now we have under 300 runners registered per day and they are all prepared to be more self-sufficient than normal.
For Zumbro and Superior Spring, we turned away volunteers. For Afton, I hope to not do that as we will need a few more volunteers generally, that said, we did not do much recruiting at all and it looks like we pretty much have enough help already. I know Matt and Mark, you have liked to recruit in the past, not sure if you have some folks hoping to sign up, if so, that is great, but there were enough volunteers in the general pool thus far that I assigned some to you – we can switch things around if you need, please let me know. If each of you aid station captains could take some time to look HERE https://www.aftontrailrun.com/volunteer-assignments/ that would be great. If you type the name of the aid station in the search bar, then sort by clicking on the table header ‘Start’ you can pretty clearly see who / how many you have each day. You will also have a HAM radio volunteer at your aid station – assignments are forthcoming.
We want runners to have the ability to and be given the option to fill their own water bottles and bladders via the hands-free jug filler, but we will also communicate to them that they can ask the aid station workers to fill their bottles / bladders from pitchers (these are the same things you can ask them when they come into your aid station, “can I help you with anything or would you like to do it yourself?”). For safety, we will have ice. We ask that runners NOT self-serve ice, that volunteers give it out to runners using the provided ladles (used as scoops) in order to fill bladders, bottles, put in hats, shorts, sports bras etc (if asked to do so of course on all of these). Note, there will be no sports drinks, salt pills, soda or cups. We will provide 3 or 4 types / varieties of pre-packaged snacks (probably Goldfish Crackers, Teddy Grahams, Nut/Vegan Trail Mix and Gels). We are thinking that there should be one table where a small number of each snack can be placed in piles on the table and runners can grab what they like (and if / assuming they are sweaty) they are not contaminating a huge bin of them, conversely volunteers can hand runners these items if asked to do so. Keeping less snacks on the table will give the opportunity for the table to be quickly cleared off and wiped down from time to time. Generally we want to be more hands-off than in the past and ask runners if they want assistance rather than just helping them without asking as everyone has different proximity / “germ” tolerance these days. At the end of the day Friday we will have you pair things down and consolidate and protect things as much as possible for Saturday’s race.
FYI, at the finish line we will be offering runners full size cans of Coke and Ginger Ale and will have freezies.
I hope this information is helpful in describing how things will be different from years past and even different from Zumbro and Superior Spring this year. In the final email to all volunteers there will be this same detail along with a little bit more info. I am open to your input and please ask if you have any questions.