So at what point, if ever, does one (or should one) sign up to help organize the 2016 North Americans? And in what role? A particularly pertinent question for me because (1) there is certainly not the excuse of being an elite runner and having participating (and representing the USA) be more important; (2) while Hanover is an hour and 45 minutes up I-91 from here, in the big picture of available people, I am relatively local; (3) I have time.
The question is the desire, and the willingness to spend two years on the project.
I remember back in 1988 when the Board voted to move forward with the bid for WOC-93. I think I voted for it, though I'm not really sure. But I sure didn't raise my hand to start organizing it. Mainly, I didn't want to spend 5 years on a project where you don't know until the final day is over whether you have done OK or not. And the standard for OK is batting pretty close to 100%.
So I sat on my hands for 4 years. And then a year before the event, jumped in (both Gail and I) all the way. And I never regretted either decision, either the sitting on the sidelines for the first 4 years, or the huge amount of work in the final year. Of course it matters that, from my perspective, we did OK.
So back to the North Americans. There is no local club. UNO and GMOC are the closest, but they are not close. And neither is a big club. So there will have to be a good bit of help from other clubs, or other individuals, to make it work.
This has happened before. I remember the US Champs in 1979 near Richmond, VA. Course setter was Hans Bengtsson of NEOC. Yours truly was in charge of registration and results. Back then those were the two main roles. And things worked just fine.
And other events, like the WMOC in Minnesota, and many events in Wyoming, have had a lot of help from outside the local area. So I assume it can work again.
The problem, as with any such organizational task, is to not just get enough volunteers, but to get the right volunteers. Meaning, ones that are good at whatever role they end up playing. Because the worst thing is for some one to stick up their hand and then, when everyone thinks things are taken care of, just drop the ball.
So it will be interesting to see how this plays out. It would be nice to see lots of people express their intention of going by adding their names to this list
. And it would also be nice to start seeing offers to help on the organizational side.
Which means, in my case, offering to do what?