These positions are spread throughout the course, between aid stations and typically in areas where there is little other coverage. They are our eyes and ears on the marathon course, keeping us up to date on the location of the lead runners, keep a watch on everything that happens on the course, and serve as a point of contact for runners and spectators in distress.
These positions typically start shortly before the first runner is due, depending on the road closing schedule, and finish as soon as the sweep bus passes. These positions tend to be fairly quiet, allowing you to sit back and watch the race go by.
Medical Aid Stations are located along the course at intervals of 1-2 miles, providing medical services and other assistance to race participants. Radio operators at these locations provide communications support to aid station personnel, keeping them in touch with medical officials and serving as a backup to the various radio, telephone, and digital communications channels in use.
These positions tend to be moderately busy, depending on the course location, and will carry regular traffic between medical officials and each aid station. They start some time before the first runners are due, as one of their duties is to help insure aid stations have the necessary equipment during setup. Aid stations shut down shortly after the sweep bus passes.
Shadows are needed for around 10 medical officials. These are the people who have all of the answers to questions and problems that may arise during the race, and they are also the ones making decisions using the information we communicate.
Shadows will typically work the whole day and are expected to stick closely to their principals. Many of these officials are on foot, moving constantly around the start/finish area; others have vehicles and move around the course. Shadows should be prepared to be on their feet most of the day and may be asked to assist their principals with tasks such as moving barricades or other equipment or directing vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
This is where it all comes together. A small group of dedicated operators, chosen for their experience and ability to operate under fire, manage our four separate nets and keep everything running smoothly. They are assisted by runners, data entry operators, and others, as well as being in direct contact with Pittsburgh Marathon staff.