I ran the Moscow marathon 2019
Behind the Start Line: Who Creates the Moscow Marathon?
The Moscow Marathon has a huge team: 60 organizers, 450 sports personnel, 115 doctors, 800 volunteers, as well as employees of several city services, including law enforcement agencies. In this article, several organizers who work in the rear tell how everyone's work helps to create the largest running project in our country.
Area of responsibility: specialist in working with timing systems. Responsible for ensuring that all participants have personal time to complete the distance.
Photo: Moscow Marathon
- How is the personal time of each participant in your races determined? What technique is used for this? How many people work in the team of timekeepers?
- An RFID chip is attached to the start number of each participant. At key points of the track (at least at the start and finish), RFID antennas activate the chips and read information from them. The equipment records the exact reading time of each chip. This data is sent to the server for further calculation.
The number of timing lines (reading points) depends on the length of the track. At our starts, we install equipment every 5 km. A separate person is responsible for each of the lines, whom I pre-train. Volunteers help my assistants. I myself am at the start / finish: I am responsible for the calculation and correctness of the results together with two assistants. On big races, another person joins us, he coordinates the work at intermediate points, and I focus on the calculation. All timekeeping lines are set and checked in advance.
- What can interfere with the accurate determination of personal time?
- Electronic timekeeping systems used in mass races provide perfect results almost always however, bending the number along with the chip, storing the chip next to powerful magnets, and finally losing the number can result in loss of results. For such cases, we have a video recording from the finish line and the protocols of the judges.
- What innovations have appeared in your work last year?
- First, we have updated the equipment, which we already had, and bought an additional one - this allowed us to increase the number of timing lines at a distance and their reliability. Secondly, we started using additional services offered by ChronoTrack: for example, ChronoTrack Live - onlineyn service for calculating and publishing results. With its help, the participants of the race can find out their result almost immediately after the finish. We also offered our participants the service of the Race Day App mobile application. In it you can find all the necessary information about the event, track the passage of intermediate points and the finish of your friends, find yourself in the overall results. In the future, the range and functionality of services will only grow.
Area of responsibility: is responsible for the sports part. He is in charge of the start (how the participants get into the clusters, how they approach the arch), the distance (its state and accuracy, food and refreshment points), the finish (winners and prize-winners, referees).
Photo: Moscow Marathon
- What is the most difficult thing in organizing a race?
- Our task is, on the one hand, to organize a high-level professional sports event, on the other, an attractive event for a mass participant. In other words, we must please both professional and amateur athletes. This imposes additional requirements on our work. The main difficulties are connected with the fact that Moscow is reconstructed every year. Last year, due to the narrowing of the streets, we re-measured the track three times for the Moscow half marathon and the Luzhniki half marathon. In addition, during the season there were problems with Prechistenskaya Embankment: it narrowed a lot, and it was not easy for us to separate the streams of runners. This year Moscow is hosting the World Cup, and we will not be able to hold traditional summer races in Luzhniki. The colorful race will take place on Khodynskoye field, Night - on Bolotnaya square. Working on a new site is, of course, more difficult than on a familiar one.
Directly in my work there are a lot of little things and many variables. You need to calculate the number of personnel, equipment, equipment, water, etc. At the same time, the amount of water in the race depends on the weather: in cold weather it remains, and in hot weather it can run out. We have already learned how to properly distribute water over a distance, react in time and understand when it is necessary to transfer supplies from one point to another, so that there are no problems anywhere.
- How is the referee staff recruited and trained? What should an employee from the Sports team be able to do?
- The referee staff is not only the staff who cut off the time at the finish. This is a large group of people who perform a wide range of functions. It would be more intelligent to call them employees of the sports team. They travel a distance with equipment (cones, direction indicators, mileage indicators, barriers, tables, sponges, water, etc.), unload it, place it in their places, then engage in judicial work (monitor violations, keep in touch with the headquarters). When everything is over, the team dismantles, loads the equipment back into the machines and then unloads it in the warehouse.
Last year we have established effective communication withfish at a distance with the headquarters. The guys reported cases of overheating or seizures, and we from the headquarters coordinated the work of the doctors: we assessed where the nearest ambulance was and sent it to the point of the incident. This helped to respond quickly and provide assistance to the participants. The Sport team has a total of 450 employees at the marathon. Many have been cooperating with us for several years. They are entrusted with the most important tasks. As a rule, a month before the event, we know who will be working in key positions. Then the guys give instructions in the groups for which they are responsible.
A week before the race, a pre-final briefing takes place. We are discussing in which areas difficulties may arise due to narrowing or repair of streets, and in which areas people often feel bad - these places will be strengthened by medical assistance. We predict where the participants can get off the route and run away to the wrong place, and decide how to correctly separate the flows. Thinking about what to do if you need to put a food point on a narrow street: lengthen it, or do it on both sides of the road. We agree where and when the escort cars leave before the finish line. We study the scheme: where are the broadcast cameras, where are the sprinklers, where are the partner zones. We approve how the delivery of personnel and equipment to positions and back will take place. Finally, we repeat what to do in a particular crisis situation. On Friday we will meet again and go through the main points.
Area of responsibility: the theater begins with a hanger, and the race begins with a cone, a banner on fan-barrier, finish line ... But why does it not start. Alexander is in charge of the entire material part of the Moscow Marathon.
Photo : Moscow Marathon
- How long does it take to prepare the material part for the race?
- Preparation begins a few weeks before the start. Almost everything that the participant sees at the race (from the number to the medal, from the navigation indicator to the last banner) first appears in the stationary warehouse, and only then is assembled (such as, for example, starter packs), hung around the town, placed and delivered along the distance ... Everything should arrive at the warehouse as planned. In the rush and chaos, it's easy to miss out on something important. And in my work every little thing is important - nothing can be lost or forgotten.
Equipment and printed materials (numbers, advertising inserts for starter packs, banners) arrive at the warehouse two weeks before the race. You also need to prepare flags and flagpoles, structures on which the route and starting town diagrams are placed, mileage marks and press walls. The medals arrive at the warehouse six months before the race, but they are taken out of the boxes and unpacked before the race. A separate work is connected with medals. One of the most important points is to lay out and sign the banners so that nothing is overwritten during installation.thief. The area is large, you can't do without a notation system.
- What should be closely monitored in your work?
- Most of the property should return to the warehouse after the race. First of all, laptops and printers; structures on which posters are placed; banners, cones, shirt-front. At the same time, there are things that inevitably get lost, for example, ballpoint pens. At the marathon, they take 500-600 pieces - the runners take it apart at registration.
- How long does it take to close the event?
- After the finish, our work is just beginning. It is necessary to dismantle the equipment at a distance and in the town, bring it to the warehouse, make sure that everything is in place. This is a complex logistic process that involves a large number of personnel and machines. On average, if you take a half marathon, all property is returned to the warehouse not earlier than 8 pm. At the marathon last year, we closed at 2 am.
Polina Krasnopyorova and Irina Fedorova
Area of responsibility: work with volunteers.
Polina Krasnopyorova and Irina Fedorova
Photo: Moscow Marathon
- How popular is volunteer work at the races these days? Are there many people who want to contact you?
- If we talk about volunteers of the Moscow Marathon, it is more likely not popularity and not fashion, it is, first of all, love for the city, sports, team and a desire to spend the weekend in excellent company. Our guys come to the first race in April and help us throughout the season, depending on their capabilities: someone runs two, three or six races with us.
During the whole season we analyzed who comes to help in organizing the races. These are schoolchildren and students, managers of different companies, people of silver age. There are guys who want to see the competition from the inside, this is an opportunity for them to gain professional experience. As for the requests, at the beginning of last season we received more than 300 questionnaires, while to organize the April race we needed a little more than 100 people for the days of issue numbers and the start day. For the Moscow marathon, the number of applications increased to 1,500, among which we selected and defined tasks for 800 people. We are always glad to new applications and try to find tasks even for those who may come for a short time.
- What volunteer zones are there for the races? What are the responsibilities of a volunteer?
- We divide the recruitment into several large blocks. Volunteers from transport hubs and the start-finish town help participants navigate and help at information points. Volunteers of the start package distribution area work one or two days before the start - this is one of the most numerous groups that checks certificates, issues start numbers, registers new participants and issues T-shirts and partner products. Sports volunteers work on the day of the race at the start, finish and distance. Their foundationsThe main task is to create the best service for athletes: to lead to the desired cluster, supply water at food points, give a hug and a medal at the finish line. We are recruiting a small number of guys who help the directing team and accompanied by journalists. Separately, it should be noted those who help organize work with the volunteers themselves: team leaders and headquarters volunteers who daily take care of the equipment, food and good mood of our guys.
- What you need to do if you are do you want to become a volunteer?
- Let us know and be in touch! We open a set for each race and inform about it on the website and in social networks. After the candidate fills out the questionnaire, we or our team leaders will contact to clarify the details and wishes: on what day, for how long the volunteer can help and whether he has any preferences for the position. For some positions, we invite a candidate to a personal meeting.
Become a volunteer for the Moscow Marathon 2018.
Area of responsibility : is responsible for all constructions during the race. Without it there will be no tents to change clothes, no starting arch to start / finish, no sound, no light.
Photo: Moscow Marathon
- How long does it take to assemble and dismantle the race?
- Marathon installation starts one month in advance. The first step is to install tent structures for the exhibition and changing rooms. It takes about three weeks, another week is needed to equip the tent from the inside: make a flat floor, lay a carpet, conduct light, install heat guns, generators, a fire safety system.
Temporary structures (bridges, stages, sound towers, gates) begin to build in ten days. We deal with complex structures that must withstand loads and meet safety standards. We are very strict with this. Dismantling of temporary structures takes two days, dismantling of tents - up to two weeks. All together (installation + dismantling) - this is a month and a half of construction, if we talk about a marathon. A half marathon takes about a month.
- What area is occupied by structures at the marathon?
- Last year, the building area at the marathon was 9000 sq. m. m is one and a half football fields! The largest structure turned out to be an exhibition tent - 6300 sq.m. The total area of the stands for spectators is 600 sq. M. In total, more than 50 structures are being built during the marathon: start and finish gates, bridges, navigation poles, etc.
- Tell us about the complexity of your site.
In 2013, a large-scale reconstruction for the World Cup began in Luzhniki. Since then, something new has happened on our home site every year: either they laid communications, then they built new buildings, or they restricted the passageways. As a result, every year we came up with new schemes: where and how to start, where to build up, how to launch a siteNickov.
For example, in 2016 we planned to hold the Musical Half Marathon on the South Core, but three weeks before the event we were informed that the asphalt would be re-paved there - we had to move to the central alley. As a result, the layout of the big event changed completely: it was necessary to move not just one tent, but also the entrance lobbies, navigation, and various technical areas. It's very difficult.
Area of responsibility: directing the race. He brings together the sports part, the presenters and the music, builds the timing of what is happening and follows everything that happens on the site.
Photo: Moscow Marathon
- Why would I run a director? Is it really known in advance who will win?
The director is responsible for the show part of the event. I supervise the entire stage staff (presenter, DJ, awards group, fitness instructors), as well as sound and screen specialists. At least one assistant and three volunteers help me. On races where there is a broadcast, I work with the team that implements it.
The director's work is divided into two large stages: preparation and event-control already at the event itself. At the preparation stage, I typeset the plan, brief the staff, train volunteers, rehearse the award ceremony with the team, meet with the sound engineer, etc. Here it is important to check everything and discuss in advance: who prints the letters, at what moment the sound towers turn on, where the gifts will be. All the hitch at the event stems from such little things.
During the race itself, I make sure that everything goes according to the plan that I have drawn up. In my ideal world, the host speaks all the important information and advertising messages; the DJ puts on cool music and does not forget about the information beats; start and finish are energetic and emotional; guests of honor appear on stage on time; the awarding ceremony does not move in time, it is solemn and smooth. To do this, you need to think over every little thing and still be prepared for the fact that you will have to replay something at the event.
- What happens to the winners between the finish and the award ceremony?
- At the finish line, the leaders of the race are greeted by the judges and handed over to my assistants. Their task is to prepare the award in a short time. We need to establish the identity of each winner - to make sure that everyone ran under their numbers. Athletes go to the locker room for their passports, and at this stage it is important not to lose them: someone wants to hesitate, change clothes, chat with friends, and we cannot continue working without reconciliation.
When the identity of the athletes is established, personal certificates are printed. By this time, cups and gifts are already under the stage, journalists and race participants are waiting for the athletes to come out. It remains to conduct the final briefing: who is standing where, who is giving what to whom - and launch the award ceremony. From the outside, everything should look easy and simple.
In touch with the city. Another Moscow by Ksenia Afanasyeva
One marathon. One city and one great love of running.
- Will it be possible to watch the marathon from another city or from home?
- This year we will lead live broadcast on three races at once: the Moscow half marathon, the SPB half marathon in St. Petersburg and the Moscow marathon. The broadcast can be viewed on the race website and in social networks.
- What is the most difficult thing in organizing such an event? What is the most responsible?
- Think over everything, check everything and not get confused when something inevitably went wrong. Events pour in on little things. Somewhere the gate was not opened, and within 10 minutes a huge queue formed. The car was not allowed to travel due to delays with a pass - the feeding point was left without water. The presenter came in the wrong shoes - and the organizer faces a serious fine from a sports partner. Our entire team is engaged in checking the conditional gates, passes and equipment ten times, and as a result, something fourth happens. Approach any member of the team after the event and he will tell you what went wrong and how he fixed it at the last moment. Personally, my exemplary difficulties are always associated with a marathon: proven contacts fail, important things are lost, worked out schemes break down. It turns out that the marathon is a test of endurance for everyone: not only for runners, but also for organizers.
Thank you for your help in preparing the material to the press service of the Moscow Marathon.