Before the Boston Marathon, there’s the BAA 5K. This is a short road race, put on by the same organizing team as the Boston Marathon, with a course that runs from the Boston Common through Back Bay and back. The competition is fierce—multiple world records have been set at this event.
Amateur radio volunteers work with medical personnel at this event to provide communications support around supplies, logistics, and dispatch. We were stationed with them at water stations along the route; with prefinish spotters; and with sweep teams working in the post-finish area. Fortunately favorable weather on Saturday helped everything go according to plan, and we didn’t have to deal with any serious emergencies.
Clear communications go a long way to help keep those plans running smoothly, and everyone was sharp and professional on the air. Special thanks to our friends at the Harvard Wireless Club who brought a whole team to support all the post-finish sweep operations: Robert Anderson, KC1IFV; Elton Lossner, KN4GIT; Gunnar Plunkett, KM6NFL; Jeb King, KD9JKT; and William Collins, W1PL. And many thanks to all the volunteers: Scott Gaudet, KC1EXS; Thomas Achtemichuk, W0ZIO; Chris McArdle, KB1REM; Colin McArdle, KB1REL; Peter Sullivan, W1ABC; Rick Savage, KB1LYJ; Kathy Savage, KB1LPW; and Cheyenne Greatorex, N1QZS.
The April, 2018, issue of The SPARC is available.
The Run of the Charles is one of the most unique public service events for hams each year. It’s a series of canoe and kayak races for all different group sizes and course lengths. The variety draws all kinds of participants, and they all rely on us to help keep the event running safely and smoothly.
This year’s Run of the Charles is on Sunday, April 29. The full 26-mile course runs from Riverdale Park in Dedham down to Artesani Park in Brighton. Assignment check-in times vary by location, from 7:00 AM at far start points to 10:00 AM at portages near the finish. Since the CRWA relies on hams for all kinds of logistics, from on-site check-ins to rules infractions, there’s a position for volunteers at any experience level.
Volunteers for this event must have a dual-band (2m and 70cm) handheld radio and an antenna with improved gain over the stock rubber duck. These are necessary because many volunteer sites are low-lying areas where it can be a challenge to reach repeaters. If you can help, please get in touch and let me know:
- Your name and call sign
- Phone numbers where you can be reached (cell, home, office)
- Details of the equipment you’re willing to bring. Start sites that accept new registrations could benefit from a small field setup—think 10W+ and an antenna like a magmount or better. If you can bring that, please let me know.
- Your shirt size
- Do you have any needs or requests we should consider when making your assignment?
If you have questions about the event, please get in touch by e-mail or phone (859) 466 5915.
The March, 2018, issue of The SPARC is available.
The March 2018 meeting of the Boston Amateur Radio Club will be held at MassPort Fire Rescue Headquarters, 261 Harborside Drive, East Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday March 15, 2018. There is a slight change in the meeting time. A tour of MassPort Fire Department apparatus will commence at 6:45 p.m. followed by Santarpio’s pizza at 7:15 p.m. followed by the General Meeting at 8:00 p.m. Attendance for this event is limited to 25 BARC members.
We will have two speakers at this meeting. They are: Steve Staffier, K1SMS, Communications and Interoperability Manager for Massport and MassPort Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Robert Barnes. Steve will talk about Communications Interoperability and Deputy Barnes has an interesting presentation about MassPort Fire Rescue that he will give.
There is parking available at MassPort Fire Headquarters, 261 Harborside Drive, East Boston, Massachusetts. The Fire Department is located past the Hyatt Hotel. Please park in the marked spaces.
Since we’re literally in the neighborhood, we will have Santarpio’s Pizza for dinner. A suggested donation of $7.50 per person is requested.
There is a space limitation at the facility. We will only be able to accommodate 25 members. If you’re interested in attending this meeting, you will have to send an email to email@example.com no later than March 7, 2018 indicating your interest in attending. Management reserves the right to cancel the evening if not enough people sign up by the 7th.
This should be an interesting meeting and we hope to see you there.
The February General Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Eastern Bank in Jamaica Plain.
The topic of the February meeting is Show and Tell, so bring in that project you’ve been working on and share it with the club!
The February, 2018, issue of The SPARC is available.
Volunteer registration is open for the BAA 5K! The race is the Saturday before Marathon Monday, April 14. Registration is scheduled to close on February 9, so please sign up soon to make sure we can get you on the team.
The 5K and the Marathon use the same volunteer registration system. If you’re volunteering at the Marathon, please register and request a Marathon assignment. After you’re done, please e-mail BAA volunteer coordinator Mary Miller and CC: me to request to be added to the 5K roster as well. If you can include your BAA volunteer loyalty number or registration confirmation number, that helps.
If you just want to volunteer at the 5K, go through the volunteer registration and choose “5K Hams” as your assignment preference when asked. You’ll know you’re done when you get a confirmation number.
The BAA always appreciates support from amateur radio volunteers. We wouldn’t have that great relationship if you didn’t come and put in the work to make these races possible. I hope you’ll join us to help kick off another great year of public service.
If you have questions about either event, please contact me by e-mail.
Thank you, and 73,
Brett Smith, AB1RL
Public Service Coordinator, Boston Amateur Radio Club
The January, 2018, issue of The SPARC is available.
Volunteer registration is open for the 2018 Boston Marathon! Sign up today on the BAA’s web site. You don’t need to specify any group name or passcode. Just make sure you request at least one ham radio assignment in your preferences. Once you get your application confirmation number, you’re all set.
If you’re a returning volunteer, you’ll be asked to provide your BAA Volunteer Loyalty Number. You should’ve received that in a separate e-mail from the BAA today. There’s also a tool to look it up on the BAA volunteer site. If you still have trouble finding it, e-mail us and we can help you out.
Don’t delay! Volunteer registration closes in early February. Help us get the word out by forwarding this e-mail to your club and other hams who might like to volunteer. Most volunteers first learn about the event through word of mouth. If you know new amateurs who might like to join us, make sure to let them know about it. Even just a quick mention at your club meeting can be a big help.
Again, If you have any questions about volunteer registration, or the 2018 Marathon generally, please get in touch anytime. Volunteering at the Marathon is a big job, and we appreciate the time and effort everyone puts into it. We’re happy to do what we can to make your work more comfortable or effective.
Again, we look forward to seeing everyone again soon.
Thank you, and 73,
Matthew Forman, K6MCF
for the Boston Marathon Communications Committee