the Big Book

I have been asked to talk about “the big book” as I lovingly call my loose-leaf binder where I have with all my Race to the Sky information. Let me preface this by saying “the big book” is one of three notebooks that I keep all my information. The “big book” is one, the smaller turquoise notebook where I keep my day-to-day stuff and of course a calendar where I mark dates for Board meetings and keep track of my time devoted to the Race and reminders. None of these book are dispensable. I NEED them all! Without any one of them, my carefully organized world working with the Race would come crashing down!

So I guess I should start by telling you what a Race Manger does. I am the logistics person. The banquet, checkpoints, food, volunteers, merchandise, making sure the vets get here and ready to go and anything else that needs to be organized is up to me. I gotta say, this is my bailiwick and so enjoy doing this sort of thing. Maybe my Virgo blood or something else in the stars, but I DO like it. This isn’t for anyone to be sure, one must be organized and can deal with people . Setting up the trails and dealing with the mushers are left to Pam and Roy, thank goodness. Both of these tasks are also critical for obvious reasons to a successful Race.

When I was asked to take over from our previous Race Manager, Sarah, I must say I was pretty daunted with this task. If you look at all this– the whole big picture, one can turn into a blubbering fool (which I am come Race Day). So I had to come up with a system that was easier on my brain to break down and put together, hence, the “big book”…

I broke the Race down into different parts in this “big book”. Banquet, start, Whitetail Ranch, Owl Creek, Seeley Lake, merchandise, volunteers, mushers, sponsors, website and minutes (to the board meetings). Wow. I get exhausted just looking at it all! But really, once it is broken down like this it is much more manageable to handle in one’s head. Each section contains vital contact information for different people critical for the Race to go off. Many moving parts to a Race like this! I even have an idea category for potential ideas for future Races.  

In the smaller turquoise notebook I have reminder notes of what to do with phone numbers and emails and I cross things off in there as I go. Like I said this notebook is indispensable too. This is the one I can carry around easily or slip into my purse. After all, doesn’t it look so much better if you carry a notebook around when asking people for $$?

AND then there is the computer which I am emailing constantly this one and that to make sure things are on track. This time of year most of the work is done. Just have to re-confirm volunteers and of course, get more sponsors. Most mornings now I wake up thinking about the Race and what to do that day or come up with ideas for next year—those go into the idea section of the “big book”. Let’s not get ahead of myself and just concentrate on this year’s Race. But sometimes a light bulb comes on and have to write it down or else it will be out of my head totally!

So there you have it. For those of you who might want to take a peek at the “big book”, think again! I will defend it with all I have—fists, feet and elbows! Well, ok, if you want to see it that bad, you can, but really…..

Snow coming to this neck of the woods in MT land so hopefully will wake to a winter wonderland tomorrow. Dogs will be ready to get on sleds and ditch the wheels that they have been using so far. Fingers crossed.

C.Jewett