I was given a week to pack my bags. Not to sound dramatic but honestly, it was no more than 7 days that I was invited to MC for the Marathon Bahamas in Nassau..
New Providence, Bahamas. I was asked at an event I was doing for the same timing company that was going to time the Marathon Bahamas. I stood in shock and stared in disbelief because I actually remember looking in a trade magazine and thinking, ” I wanna do that race so bad.”
So I finally blinked and began to say the words, “Of course.” I was so thrilled I was able to spit that out in time before the offer left the table. So a couple contingencies were introduced; gotta get a flight, gotta get to airport in time and had to finish a previous gig the day before and travel that same night in order to wake up in Nassau and make it to the start for a 5am program. But I am the much heralded and resourceful race announcer as I have been told, so I was qualified for the challenge. Enjoy the gallery.
As soon as I landed and went through custom (very relaxed Royal Bahamian customs mind you), I shared a taxi to meet with the race director and the elite runners for a VIP dinner. Of course it was a buffet and of course I had more than seconds. Finally, I arrived at the British Colonial Hilton located just West of Downtown Nassau besides the capitol buildings. The bed was amazing and I was spent.
The life of the race announcer is pretty exciting and happens very early in the day. 4am wake up and ready to rock the start line. There is something magical about that time of day; quiet, cool, air filled with anxiety and slight panic. I of course have all the notes needed to instruct the participants. All those answers an athlete could ask for lie in my ability to convey them properly. So after a brief introduction to my new friend and team mate, DJ Super Johnson, I was live and in action. “Bag Drop at X, Restrooms at Y”,”Paging A.. meet B here”, “Thank you to our Sponsors, A, B, C and D.” I can repeat myself ad nauseam and still I have the late arrivals 4 minutes before start, “can you repeat everything you said for the last hour?” “No problem, Mon”, I reply.
The rest of the morning, as expected, is a blur. Fueled by caffeine only and notes in hand, I plug the sponsors and mention the names of the finishers. By 11 o’clock we were half way through the awards ceremony and we were taking photos against the back drop of the beautiful harbor. Cruise ships filled in one by one and our once quiet finish line at Arawak Cay was invaded by tourists pleased to find the festivities.
As soon as we were packed up and the course cleared of all racers it was time for some post race libations.
Later that night we had a team meeting at the Atlantis Resort and Casino. Super fun times.
Monday, after a very well deserved over sleep I had some alone time and frequented some places I once visited when I worked on a cruise ship.
Nassau will always be a favorite port of call and, more than ever, a true destination race I hope to announce for again and again. Yah Mon!
Click Pic for a write up from the local paper/