Archive of 2007 North Olympic Discovery Marathon
Amateur Radio Participation
June 10, 2007

Summary

This was the 5th running of a great event but a rainy one!  It was the first year we were hit pretty hard with the wet stuff. Over 1800 runners turned out and it seems that NODM is being discovered.  The staff was very happy with the turnout and the 1st male runner to finish had never ran a marathon before....just like last year. The pace was, of course, slower than normal by over ten minutes.  The Little's mentioned that they had few people that chased them down with questions.  Thats a sign that the volunteers are beginning to handle the event with more and more skill and know their job.  Adding the relay team without knowing the bibs or color was the most complex thing we had to deal with.

Nita had to negotiate parking permission for MP 20 which turned out very positive. 

We had two runners that were developing hypothermia.  One was taken off the course to warm up but came back and finished the race before "finish" was shut down.  She only had 1.2 miles to go and was featured in the PDN earlier for trying to do 10 marathons in 14 weeks.  NODM was her third of the series.  I'll bet she will always remember the Sequim-Port Angeles race? No other medical conditions were reported but warnings were put out that bridges and other areas were slippery.

This was the first year in which we had the sweep bicycle on 2 meters.  Bob, KE7HZB rode the 26+ miles in about 6 hours.  A super job with good communications most of the way.  Several times we were asked by the NODM staff where the sweep was located? They really liked having radio contact with him.  Bud, KE7IWO joined us at finish and was our runner to the announcers booth.  Worked great!

Amateur Radio Participants

Nita, KE7DRT
Russ, K7INA
Don, KC7LTW
John, K7NIA
Bob, KE7HZB
Al, W7YLV
Bud, KE7IWO
Jody, KE7LKA
Theron, KC7NPP
Marsha, KA7CSZ
Neil, WA7NBF

Thank You all for participating.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did?  We still have a couple of "T" shirts available if you didn't get one.

Photos

John, K7NIA setup at MP 5.  Notice his enhanced antenna.  This has been a troublesome spot in past years.  One of the things that public service  events do is encourage us to find ways to put out reliable and respectable signals.  Thats part of creating  solutions for these events.   You are also gaining experience for short notice setup in times of emergencies.

Nita, KE7DRT at MP 20 also had an enhanced antenna for her location which is down in a hole on Bagley Creek.  We'll have to get some pictures of her and her contraption? 

MP 20 communications has been solved in the past using a backpackers 2 meter antenna if you have a good place to hang it.  Anywhere with lots of tree limbs usually is good.

Aid Station at MP 25

Bob, KE7HZB arriving at finish line


Bud and Al at the finish line. 

At the finish, we've been using a homemade  "J" pole antenna up about 10 feet on a fiberglass marine pole for several years now (white pole in the foreground).  It takes about 30 seconds to set up. 

The "J" pole is an excellent antenna for public service events because it can be designed for resonance at both UHF and VHF frequencys and doesn't require a ground plane.  Basically, its a 1/2 wavelength radiator at 146 Mhz which is excited at the voltage node with a 1/4 wave stub using a form of gamma match.  It also gives some gain.  With a good antenna that covers both UHF and VHF, 1 1/2 watts is all thats needed for good reliable communications.  This setup has worked fine with only 500 milliwatts.  Low RF power means less battery which is real nice when you are trying to stretch life out of them or just don't want to haul big ones around.

Revised: June 13, 2007