Outstanding traffic control for 10K in Hughesville

Friday, Nov. 28, 2008

A version of this letter was sent to the Charles County Sheriff's Office.

As president of the Hughesville Running Club, race director and co-chairman of the Hughesville 10K Festival, I wish to express my gratitude and to commend all of your officers involved in the planning, implementation, and execution of an outstanding traffic control plan for the inaugural Hughesville 10K Festival. I would especially like to recognize Capt. Mike McGuigan and Lt. Ronald Farrell for their unwavering support, professionalism, and leadership. Without their guidance and expertise our events would not have been a success.

Your officers were very organized, professional and helpful throughout the entire day. Their response was quick and effective at shutting down the roadways so our committee and volunteers could concentrate and focus on preparing for the races and the festival. Just about every runner and walker noted and commented on your officers' presence and professionalism.

The preparation in the preceding months and the attendance of your officers at several Hughesville 10K Festival committee meetings, as well as onsite visits to scout traffic and control plans were pivotal for the festival, and more specifically, for the runners' experience. Traffic control is an integral part of road racing and allows the runners to enjoy themselves and concentrate on doing what they do best, run.

Many participants provided post-race feedback and one response in particular struck me. The participant wrote she had a great time in her first ever 10K. She was encouraged by your officers while one rode his bike with her for the last mile. She was touched by his gesture and in her words:

"Thank you for an awesome memory and the opportunity to be a part of something so worthwhile."

She will forever remember her personal accomplishment and your officer's encouragement. Her day would not have been so extraordinary without your officers' support.

Your officers were very helpful in observing runners and looking for signs of distress. They were friendly and courteous to everyone they came in contact with.

Several officers stayed past the time noted on my traffic plan while we cleaned up last minute details, to ensure a safe opening of the roadway.

Chain-of-custody was unbroken as the last officer notified us that he was leaving and that the roadway was open to all traffic.

Throughout the day, they provided excellent coverage and were highly visible. They all worked with our committee and volunteers like a well-oiled machine and were accommodating when asked. The K-9 demonstration was especially popular and a high point of the festival.

Your officers were a fundamental component in making this year's festival a success and were a pleasure to work with. We are looking forward to next year and engaging you and your officers at the second annual Hughesville 10K Festival.

Craig Barrett, Hughesville

The writer is the Hughesville 10K Festival race director.