Howard County REACT recently provided traffic control and course monitoring for the Girls on the Run 5K, an annual event established to raise funds for programs that benefit and empower young women.
Howard County REACT member Pardeep Bhatti (Unit 621) directs event traffic into one of several parking lots available as participants line up at the start line.
As traffic controllers, our team directed race participants into designated parking areas as they arrived. Given the large scale of the venue, which took place in the business park of Columbia Gateway Drive, our members were widely spread out to direct traffic from numerous directions while simultaneously assisting Howard County Police keep the runner course clear of vehicle traffic. Anyone familiar with Columbia Gateway Drive will tell you everything is spread out and can be quite confusing to the uninitiated.
Howard County REACT Member John Tievy (Unit 694) roving the course past an unknown HCPD officer.
Adding to the traffic control challenges, our team quickly recognized that pedestrian traffic would be an even bigger challenge as a large number of participants were crossing Columbia Gateway Drive at the same intersections where we were directing traffic. Despite this, we adapted quickly and issues where quickly stamped out. HCR members Mark Thornton (Unit 685) and Pardeep Bhatti (Unit 621) were instrumental in recognizing these issues and putting a game plan together to address them.
Howard County REACT member Mark Thornton (Unit 685) stands with an event volunteer at the intersection of the finish line to direct traffic into and out of the parking lots used for the event.
Fortunately, the race itself went much smoother. HCR member David Perry (Unit 687) acted as a roving net control while HCR member Josh Tievy (Unit 694) assisted as a second rover. The only hiccups involved 2 minor diabetic episodes that were quickly recognized and resolved by Josh, who also happens to be trained in medical emergencies.
HCR Member John Tievy (Unit 694) takes up "Tail-end Charlie" to monitor the last runners on the course.
As the race wound down, the same crowd and traffic control issues started to crop up. However, using the lessons we learned just prior to the event allowed us to identify and address the trouble areas before they became a problem.
Despite occasional challenges, our team members rose to the challenge and adapted to fill in where needed. Given our great success, our team has already been asked by event organizers to assist with several more events being planned for the spring.