A lot of work goes into the races we put on and for the most part our events should feel boring to us. That means things are going mostly right. There’s not a lot that should go wrong. Unless you’re in the 5 min car.
I was first introduced to the 5 min car after year 3 of the Louisiana Marathon. The year prior I essentially was the 5 min car but that’s because shit went haywire and I was in the lead car...I’ll explain.
The 5 minute car is so named because it goes off 5 mins before the race and makes sure the course is set. The final cones in the turns are put out and we get the opportunity to tell the cops to “move your car there because your in the wrong spot.” They love that.
Those 5 mins before the first runners get there are a little like chaos. Or. A lot like it. The most seasoned of our crew love it. It’ like being the Wolf in Pulp Fiction in a truck, with your flashers on. Running red lights and driving 50 down one lane roads. Allegedly.
The second year of the Louisiana Marathon I was driving the lead car for the half marathon. There was a guy 200yds behind me running 5:15 pace. As I approached .5 to go i realized a volunteer had placed the last turn a street too early. I floored it for 3 blocks. Slammed on the brakes, jumped out, Grabbed all the cones and told the volunteer to haul ass to the next corner. I got back in and had just enough time to make the last turn and not run over anyone with a Nissan Leaf.
Today I got to ride in the 5 min car with my good friend and business partner Pat O’Brien. Maybe we are getting better at this as it was uneventful but still fun. I had planned on keeping things interesting and writing this while driving the 5 min car, alas. Maybe I’m growing up.