Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Running a sponge station

Google can't find the expression "Running a sponge station", so this is a first!

On Sunday 3rd May, our church ran a sponge station for the Great West Run, which is Exeter's half marathon. You can see our church at 1:41 on the video, and just glimpse some of our sponge station roadies in the next two seconds.

Our job was to hand out damp sponges to runners as they passed, and we were equipped with cheap sponges, bins for water, tabards to wear. After that, we were on our own. With experience from 2008, we had buckets and large jars for water as well, and the church tap was running continuously to refill the bins. We needed a team to collect discarded sponges, which were then washed (my job) and returned for reuse as the runners passed the church four times!

There is an assignment problem here, dealing with the varied jobs that need to be done; moving water, collecting sponges, washing, handing out. Unfortunately, it is a messy problem to solve. I don't know the skills of the volunteers, and the demands on the team in fiture will depend on the weather! So, like so many messy problems, it was solved dynamically, as each of us who could transferred between tasks as required.

At the end, we had shown God's love for the community.

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