by Cheryl Knight
I’ve always found it helpful when everyone is clear about who is supposed to do what. Things just go better, there is less confusion, and it, in fact, provides comfort for the approximately 50% of our population that feels less anxiety when they know what to expect (I’m drawing on my Personality Type Assessment expertise here, in case you think I’m blowing smoke…)
So while you the run leader may have a more laid back approach to life, at least half of your run attendees will have a much better time, if they know you’ve got things under control, who is doing what and when things are supposed to happen.
To that end, here are my recommendations for who does what DURING THE RUN. These are based on several years of participating in runs with multiple clubs. I hope you find it helpful.
Run Leader OR Run Leader’s Navigator:
- Turn on your headlights.
- Using the 2-way Radio, provide advance notice of upcoming turns, poor or changing road conditions, when you see cyclists, joggers or animals at the side of the road or when to “double-up”.
- On curvy roads, with no center line and blind spots, call out on-coming traffic.
- Share interesting tidbits or trivia about the scenery or areas you are passing through. For instance, you may know that a certain log cabin was used in an Old West Movie…or, you could just make it up – either way, it makes the trip more interesting!
Sweep (the last car in the group):
- Turn on your headlights – this allows the Run Leader to more easily see where the end of the group is.
- Using the 2-way Radio, provide an update to the Run Leader when you have cleared a turn, made it across a highway, or if there has become a large separation between you and the Lead Car.
- Ensure that everyone makes the turns, etc. If it appears someone has missed the turn, wait for them to come back or if necessary, go after them to help them find the way back.
- If someone breaks down or must pull over with a problem, stop to see if they need help or want you to stay until the problem is resolved. If this happens, the last car in the run, should step in and fulfill the role of Sweep.
Relay or Middle of the Group Car (may be necessary on larger runs):
- Relay radio messages given by both the Run Leader and the Sweep – back and forth, unless otherwise advised.
- If a Run Participant gives a radio message directed to the Run Leader or Sweep and it isn’t heard, relay that message as well.
- Drive safely and use good run etiquette.
- It is fairly common, especially at turns or when there is a gap between our cars, for OTMs (Other Than Miatas) to end up in the line of cars. When this happens, IF it appears the OTMs are creating a large gap by driving slower than the Miata drivers, let the Run Leader know.
- Kindly let other drives know if their blinker stays on or if they have accidentally turned on their headlights.
When everyone fulfills their role and responsibilities, the rest of us can relax and enjoy the ride!
Next month, I’ll cover anything else I can think of that hasn’t already been addressed this year and then in the last IN THE BREEZE edition of the year, I’ll provide a Master Miata Run Checklist, capturing all the important things to attend to when planning your runs. Hope to see you soon with your tops down!