Amateur Radio Club Provides Communications Support for Thanksgiving Day Race
From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Fri Dec 2 20:21:08 2022
The BEARS of Manchester Amateur Radio Club in Manchester, Connecticut, spent Thanksgiving Day providing amateur radio communications support for the 86th Manchester Road Race.
The race, a 4.748-mile course that begins and ends on Main Street in downtown Manchester, has been a Thanksgiving Day tradition since 1927. This is the 30th consecutive year the BEARS of Manchester Amateur Radio Club has provided communications support, with more than 10,000 runners participating and over 30,000 spectators lining the course.
Radio operators began arriving at 6:00 AM on Thanksgiving morning. Fifty-five operators staffed 39 positions around the course and were stationed every quarter mile to provide safety communications and report the lead male and female runners to the public address announcer.
Shadow operators helped 10 race officials stay in communications. Operators also started and ran four clocks around the course to help pace runners, and a station operated in the public safety Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to relay safety-related information to representatives of various agencies. Ham radio operators also provided communication for a shuttle bus operation that brought runners and spectators from a remote parking area to Main Street and then returned them at the end of the race. Check-in and check-out were accomplished through a net control station to maintain accountability.
Communication for the event was made on six repeater and simplex frequencies, and three cross-band repeaters were used for signal quality to avoid interference.
The BEARS of Manchester Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
Thanks to Phil Crombie, Jr., K1XFC, Race Communications Coordinator, for providing information for this story.
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