There’s a story behind this photo. On Saturday night our crew was setting up for our first ever XRACE event in the UK at Highbury Fields.
We were having real trouble trying to start a brand-new generator and a lovely man, David - who was out for a stroll with his kids came over and spent what must have been a good 40 minutes with us trying to get our generator running.
It was such a kind gesture and I said to him, come back tomorrow with your daughter and do the XRACE - free of charge as our way of saying thank you.
Queue next day and just after the race started, David, his daughter Favor and little son (pictured here, sound asleep) arrived at the helpdesk. We quickly rush around organising T-shirts and transponders for dad and daughter but had yet to address the elephant in the room - who was going to look after the little toddler?
David tried to call his wife but no luck. The clock was ticking and only the very last waves remained in the start house. I came up with a cunning plan. “Give him to me and I will have my wife take care of the little guy.” I mean, it’s perfectly reasonable - David and I knew each other well, we spent 40 minutes together try to fix a generator. We weren’t strangers at all. Here, give me your kid.
At this stage, an admission - I didn’t catch the little fellow in the photos name so we just called him Fred.
I grab little Freddie and dad and daughter hightailed it to the start house and into the XRACE.
In trying to execute said cunning plan, I ask around, has anyone seen my wife, a homesick grandmother of two little ones. The reply was bad - “she is out on course assisting on a challenge” and with that, this plan instantly goes down the gurgler.
Right, stop. Assess the situation.
You are executive producing a live event, currently focusing on live timing, sound and PA and keeping the whole train running to schedule.
And babysitting little Freddie.
In 20+ years of event production, I’ve never been babysitter and producer. To be fair, little Freddie was just gorgeous - soaking everything up like a seasoned professional.
After about 10 minutes I think “maybe this kid’s asleep”. Great. Now what?
I lay down my shirt and little Freddie in our sound/timing control centre - a tiny tent crowded with tables, cables, sound systems, timing boxes and every bit of flotsam and jetsam imaginable.
Amongst the genuine noise of a race finish with transponder beeps, loud music and louder conversation lay crashed out little Freddie - sound asleep. This kid could sleep through a Hurricane.
About an hour later, David and daughter Favor arrived at the finish. He came straight over looking for his son and we pointed out his blissfully sleeping beautiful boy on the ground with a XRACE shirt for a blanket.
No dramas mate.
It takes a village to raise a child.
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