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A Kern County Running Community Without the Bakersfield Track Club?

Since 1967 the Bakersfield Track Club (BTC), which started as a handful of runners who gathered at the bluffs to run, has matured and is now facing a dilemma as the organization looks to 2020 and beyond.

Over the years the BTC has provided support and been a valuable resource to many non-profits and other organizations that have relied on the guidance and wisdom of our Board.  Our Board is fatigued, many of us serving over 20 years! 
 
We are facing a crisis and need the next generation of runner to step up and help us. Without active commitment and support from the community we will be faced with stopping those BTC events you have loved for many years (The Bakersfield Half Marathon, The Kern River Trail Runs, and Summer Series) and possibly shuttering the BTC.  Over the years, as we have diminished in support we’ve already seen the loss of prior events like the BUMR (Bakersfield Unofficial Marathon Run), Rio Bravo Trail Runs, and The Poker Run.  We won’t just be stopping our events, we will be stopping what support/timing we have provided to community non-profits.

How can you help?

Pledge/Commit

This isn’t about just making a pledge to help.  This is about actually taking action (i.e. get your hands dirty)!  This is about making a commitment to sacrifice for the overall good of something beyond yourself.  This includes often losing that training Saturday and spending your Saturday morning (and sometimes Friday afternoon) helping a non-profit to achieve their goals.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

It is about the willingness to step outside your comfort zone and take what you have learned by participating in past events to jump in and just do what needs to be done.

How Do you Start?

Come to the BTC Monthly Board Meetings at Rusty’s Pizza (10824 Rosedale Highway, Bakersfield).  We meet the second Wednesday of each month (except July) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Volunteer at an Event

If it’s on the BTC Events page (www.bakersfieldtrackclub.org/events/) then chances are we are at the event helping.  Volunteering is not always pretty, it’s not always fun (in the moment), but the memories, the life long friendships, the laughs, and the beers have been what have kept us all going for so long.

Learn to Time A Race

This is where we face one of our biggest obstacles.  Timing is not for everyone and it’s not simple.  Of all the commitments, timing takes the biggest.  The obligation to time doesn’t just happen on race day and isn’t something you just show up to, it happens days up to the race, the evening before, and race day.  If you like databases, excel files, and like to tinker with programming then this is something you will love!

 
All of these being said, the current Board doesn’t have any special skillset that you don’t already possess.  We are like you, we didn’t know what we were doing, we made mistakes along the way, we cried, cussed, and drank a lot of beer.  But one thing we all have a love for the sport of running.  We have a love of the event, the love of seeing the joy in someone’s eye the first time they finish their first 5K, 10K, Half, or even that Marathon (when we had the BUMR).  We’ve seen a lot together as group and we want to share our experiences and our knowledge that the next generation can take what we have done and make it even better.
 
All sound like something you might be in to?  Contact the BTC secretary at nepturna@hotmail.com or our general email at

info@bakersfieldtrackclub.org to get more info!

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Rattlesnake Warning and Precautions

As it is getting warm and we have had several sightings during recent hikes, we thought it useful to share this information.

One of the recurring hazards that we must be aware of during warm weather is the presence of the rattlesnake, which is the only venomous snake found in Southern California in the wild. Rattlesnakes, like reptiles, can’t regulate their own body temperature, so they tend to stay inactive in cold temperatures, and are more active when it’s warm.

Precautions:

    • Be particularly careful when the temperature is cooling down at the end of the day and at night.
    • If you hear a rattler – FREEZE – stay calm, locate the snake and move away slowly. 
    • Use a flashlight at night for better visibility
    • See below for more information and precautions.

    When are snakes most active?

    Be particularly careful when the temperature is cooling down at the end of the day and at night. A snake’s ideal temperature is somewhere in the 80’s. This is why they are dormant in the winter. When the temperatures dip into the 60’s, you’ll find snakes burrowed for warmth. However, as temperatures rise into the 70’s and 80’s, they are more active. During the hottest days of summer, snakes will seek shade and hunt in the cooler hours of the day. Therefore, temperature dictates when you are most likely to encounter a snake.

    Symptoms of a Rattlesnake Bite 

    1. Fang marks. 
    2. Pain, tingling, burning, swelling or discoloration at bite area. 
    3. Numbness/tingling of mouth/tongue. 
    4. Nausea/vomiting or weakness/dizziness. 
    5. Sweating and/or chills. 
    6. Breathing difficulty. 

    First Aid Do’s

    1. Keep the victim calm. 
    2. Gently wash the bite w/water and soap. 
    3. Immobilize the bite and keep it lower than the heart 

    First Aid Don’ts 

    1. Don’t apply a tourniquet. 
    2. Don’t apply ice to bite area.

    Rattlesnake Bite Prevention

    1. Wear sturdy leather shoes/boots and long pants. 
    2. Walk in clear areas – avoid high vegetation areas and use a walking stick to probe ahead, if you do. 
    3. Don’t reach into blind areas. 
    4. Step up on, or walk around, but don’t step directly over logs, tree stumps and large rocks. 
    5. Always look for concealed snakes before picking up or moving sticks, logs, branches and rocks; wear leather gloves when doing so. 
    6. After dark, use a flashlight.
    7. If you see a snake, don’t approach it
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    CANCELLATION NOTICE – SB 100 Mile

    Dear SB 100 runner and active followers

    Effective 12:00 am April 27, 2019, the Santa Barbara Endurance Run series of events (SBER Marathons, SB50 and SB100) will officially be canceled, thus beginning the process to cease operations and be permanently dismantled.

    I sincerely regret having to make this entirely unexpected and untimely announcement as I am well aware each of you has invested many hours and expense to planning and careful preparations of your training, travel and other logistical matters.

    Ultrasignup.com does not typically participate in the refund process. However, Mark Gilligan at Ultrasignup.com has made an exception. Ultrasignup.com will be processing refunds to the account you used to make complete the registration. Refunds will be completed between April 30th – May 3rd, 2019. 

    My personal journey to create the event began in the summer of 2007 after the US Forest Service agreed to the feasibility of the proposed route and event concept. Shortly after that the Zaca Fire started and stalled permit process for 6 months,hereafter the regional Forest Service underwent a modest staff change which added an additional 9-month delay in the permit issuance process. The first edition of the event was hosted in June 2009. Subsequently, over the next 8 years, five significant forest fires and or weather-related phenomena required substantial alterations of the run event. Three of these fires happened within 90 days of the run event, needless to say, the burden of making alterations to keep the run event on schedule diverted attention from the many other things that I should have been focused on to make sure the run event and the runner realized a safe and memorable event. Throughout the years the feedback from runners was the generally positive and supported the idea to dial in the details and make it a better experience. 

    As daunting and frustrating as these challenges have been, I (along with a dedicated and resilient group of volunteers) remained relentlessly committed to doing my very best to make it work,  no matter the personal time and/or financial investment and sacrifice.

    I have come to terms that eventually fate could run its course and something will happen that jeopardizes the welfare of the runners, crew or volunteers, because I neglected to acknowledge that I was trying to achieve something that I cannot adequately provision with the staff, assets and or combination of resources.

    I have met and hosted runners from many parts of this beautiful world, I have suffered the frustrations and agony with the many who DNF’d and shared the joy and glory with the many who finished. In closing this chapter in my life, I move on as a kinder, wiser, humble and matured friend, husband, father and business owner,the direct result of these past 12 years of my interactions with each of you,your crews, guests and families.

    Sincerely

    Robert