Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the hype in Calgary...

I am writing this a little backwards, as I am going to ask you to watch this new broadcast of when the Flame arrived in Calgary, on its last day. You will hear about the amazing feat it was to travel all that way. It truly was perfectly coordinated, with thousands of runners, 10s of thousands of volunteers and trucks, vans and "pre run" people, "post run" people... clothing, food, photographers.... Now remember this little fact... there was no such thing as cellphones, email, texting, gps, computers were the size of a large microwave, and not in people homes. When the people from Petro-Canada were praised on this video, they couldn't have known that 22 years later, this would be happening all over again, across the country.. but with the use of all the newest technology.

One thing I want you to notice is that with each runner there is a "guard" running beside you. That person wears a different outfit, with more white on it, and navy blue on their shoulders. There job is to "guard" the torch. When we were in our "Pre Run" meeting, the guy told us that this guard would run beside and a little behind you, so that you would not feel pressured to run fast, or anything, but he was there to help you if the crowd came toward you, or if you fell, they would take care of the torch. We giggled at this comment, but then he explained that the torch was an open vessel full of fuel, and if it tipped or fell, that oil could spill on us or anyone, and ignite. There were only 250 torches made (you can read obout it in my brochure on yesterday's blog ) so they wanted as few as possible to get damaged.

In the video of the last day of the run, there were so many people that were trying to get close to the torch, that the Torch Guards were really working hard to keep the crowds away from the runner and the torch. The hype was that everyone wanted to touch the torch... and the guards were sometimes lighting a candle off the torch and passing it to the crowd for them to light their own candles (which were handed out free to the crowds, with a drip guard that simulated the torch).
The quality of this video is somewhat terrible, but you have no idea what I (and Scott) had to do to get this video.. its a bloody miracle it plays at all. The audio is delayed by almost 30 seconds, and its fairly dark and blurry.. but it tells a great story. The real video is on Youtube and if you want a better quality click here. The crowds are an amazing contrast to my stark and lonely run, but truly, I wouldn't change my day for any thing.
If the video doesn't work at all.. go to my real blog at

Tomorrow, I will finish up the Relay blogging... with a video of my day... then I will stop yapping about it!


Anonymous said...

Oh my Donna.. the memories of the relay and that time are flooding back with a tonne of emotions.. Thanks for posting about this and no need to stop talking about it or your part in it... it's fabulous!!! Love KofO

GailM. said...

I'm welling up with tears as I watch the news, and read your blog. I know I'll be blatting when I see your video tomorrow.