Thursday, 20 January 2011

Running the Show

There's not many people who can say they have one of only twelve in the world of anything. Athletics NI are lucky to be in that position, holding an IAAF 2011 World Permit for the Antrim International Cross Country.

This event is happening once again at CAFRE's Greenmount campus this Saturday, and I'm going to give you a bit of a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in putting on the show...

The preparation starts many months in advance with the decision on a fixture date, application for an IAAF permit, confirmation of inclusion in the McCain UK Cross Challenge, securing sponsors, booking the venue & facilities and blocking off accommodation. When the event is set in stone there is the small matter of a 6 page checklist to work through, all before the hard work starts in the final countdown after Christmas. So this week has been somewhat frantic!

Everything is put together at Athletics House, including an Air Traffic Control-spec transport plan for our two drivers, accommodation logistics that change on a daily basis right up until the day before the event, 700 athlete chips & numbers, workplans for the course builders, the staff, the marshals, the ANI Volunteer Squad (email me if you want to get in on that), checking deliveries, trying not to leave anything back at the office. And there's the Marketing & Communications plan... but that's Clare's problem!

There are some common side effects in prescribing to our particular brand of mania, including temporary forgetfulness, episodes of hilarity, technology rage, over-caffeination, talking to yourself, but if you can keep on top of that it's all worth it. With only one more day in the office, and one day to set up at Greenmount, there is a real buzz in the place as everyone pitches in to get it done.

Hopefully at the end of today there will be a neat snake of boxes in the function room ordered by where they've to go at the course. Then all we'll need is the weather to hold out, for all the flights to get in ok, and for some great international standard competition to make it a great day out for all.

To find out more about the event visit and click on to the event page. If you can't get there don't be left out of the action - follow the goings on with Twitter throughout the day, and see the athletes' reactions on YouTube. Full results lists will be posted on the Athletics NI website.

Jenni Robinson

Admin & Events Manager  

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