A day in the life of an EM (Event Master)

By Jeremy Engel

It was the night before and all was quite. The car was ready and the tires were changed. I was sitting in my chair sketching out plans in my head for the event for the next day. Doodling a few good course designs on paper so not to forget. I for one know the lot and layouts that work and was planning on connecting them as I went, but was reminiscing of the days gone by when I would plan the course in entirety on graph paper weeks in advance only to find that most of what I drew did not work due to reality setting in at the track. I was set, it was the first event of the year and it was my time to shine. Everyone was counting on me, including a trusting “cute car” owner, which was expecting me to show and carry his precious car to the track the next morn. I was off to bed to get a good night sleep when all of a sudden the alarm went off at 5:30 in the AM! Son of a B####! I was up! Then I was OUT! Ok, so now its 6 am and I am standing!

Out the door and on my way to get the “cute car,” Arriving at 6:45 we hopped in and drove off to the track. Arriving at 7:00 we greet the trailer. My crew of one and soon to be two started hauling cones, we start creating the course from the start to the finish. We clear the course and take a 5/10ths run to spot any problems. We fixed some visibility issues and take a final 7/10ths run. I get the approval of the safety Stuart and all is set. I have made the announcement to all that the track is official and make a plead for volunteers to help chalk all the cones. It is now 9:30 and I am answering many questions for the day and getting the drivers meeting ready for 10:00.

The drivers meeting has now commenced and I am the star of the show. I of course have planned ahead and printed the drivers meeting off of the website the night before as a guide so I don’t forget to mention anything. There is much discussion and many announcements. It is now time to run, and for me to crank it down a notch and relax, letting everyone do their jobs. I have a radio attached to me at all times for questions. I also try to make myself available near the trailer and be on the track at all times.

I have signed up to work all day, yet I still get to run my car and in my usual run group. After running I return to my post. Today is running smoothly and there is little for me to do. Throughout the day I have kept track of the time and monitor to see if we will get our goal of 6 runs. Today is a good day and we will get all our runs, although in the past I have had to decrease that number to 4 and once even to 3. It is now 3:45pm and that last car is off.

A line has already formed in celebration of after hours instructional runs. I happily send off the cars and collect a dollar from each car to pass the start. I however would also like to take a few runs and pass off the marshalling duties to a willing volunteer. We run until we are out of time or there is no one left. Those that have run make quick work out of tearing down the track and packing the trailer. With the trailer packed I have the honor of presenting the awards for the day.

It is now time to head home, nearly 5:00 now; I am exhausted and satisfied with the day. I look back at all that have helped throughout the day and smile in amazement at how well this club works together. I am off to return the “cute car” to its plot of black top back home and take my sweetie out to dinner for her aid and standing by my side all day.
It’s good to be the EM!

Ok, so here is the shortened version:

-Arrive at 7:00
-You and your crew, which you arrange, setup the course by 9:00. (sooner the better)
-Safety Stuart signs off.
-You continue to answer questions and make calls on classing and driver concerns
(I will admit that there will be people whining about your course, they always do. You must stand strong in what you believe and not let them change your mind unless there is a huge safety concern. Also, never let it get to you, or you will not have a fun day.)
-Call and hold the drivers meeting.
-Also make note that as EM delegating work is going to make your work SOOO much easier. Just grab someone and ask them to do something…they usually do. People rarely run to you for a job, but are willing if asked directly.
-As EM you will be on call all day, though you will have a radio, plan on staying visible at all times.
-Take your runs like normal.
-Make the call for fun runs.
-Help tear down and pack trailer.
-Hand out awards.
-Remember that you will be one of the last to leave.
-Realize that the entire day there is someone there and can help you and answer your questions as well!

Plusses to being an EM
-YOU design the course.
-The event is run your way. (Within reason)
-You get to run for free
-You gain the respect of others. (Hopefully)
-Once the day is over you are done and never have to EM again, but you will like it so much that you will do it again.
-There are people willing to co-EM to help you with your first endeavor.

First time as EM! There is help! Just ask!

For me, I show up at 7:00 and help you set up YOUR course design, show you how to make the course read well and flow. I do not try to get you to create the course that I want you to make. (I do bite my tongue and have bitten it many times) Show you safety concerns and what to stay away from. Stand by your side during the drivers meeting. Help you with people that are getting aggressive with their concerns. Then I stand back and let you shine as if you have done this for years. It’s truly simple and very rewarding.