Lots of interesting things going on at the McGill Open this weekend. Full results here.
The massive and debilitating delay (teams left before the meet was over, without having completed their events because the meet was more than 3hrs behind schedule) was surprising due to the bang-up job McGill did with the Team Challenge meet just three weeks ago. Hosting the biggest indoor track meet in Canada, and pulling it off without a hitch apparently did not prepare them to host a local minor track/last chance meet. How is this possible?
The meet started an hour late due to the starter not arriving on time. This delay was then exacerbated by an inexperienced timing official, who was apparently reading the lanes wrong in the sprints (note: it’s always something to do with the sprints! Just kidding. Sort of.) It just goes to show how important all the aspects of putting on a meet can be: Volunteers, officials, organizers, coaches. The inexperienced timer was used because a more experienced one was not available at the last minute. The meet organizers were informed too late to hire someone else. It was also the beginning of reading week, so it seemed as though the usual stable of student volunteers was not available. One more experienced volunteer suggested that her co-volunteers were not aware of what was required to do the job. Volunteers were crossing the track with equipment in the middle of races, and had put music on before the meet was done.
It’s true that delays are often caused by officials and volunteers who might forget that the meet is for the athletes first. But when the meet runs well, who remembers to thank the officials and volunteers? Have you ever sent a meet director a note of thanks for hosting, or just mentioned it before you leave the track? When I was in high school, we travelled to Rochester, NY, for the McQuaid Invitational XC meet. It was a very big meet, one of the biggest in North America, with many different races (Varsity AAA, AA, A, B, Junior Varsity, Freshman, Sophomore, boys, girls). At the end of the meet, after the awards were handed out, our coach made sure we lined up to shake the hand of the meet director. It was a good message to send to a team of high schoolers. It’s not easy to put on these meets, and problems are not always in the control of the person who has to take responsibility for them.
Here are 1500m videos, men and women, and a few words with Sofiane Guend, Jay Boychuck and Graydon Snider: