I usually have help so the laptop is always under control of a club member or myself. Several of the club volunteers who worked the registration desks wanted to run the race (there 'job' is done before the race starts so many of them race).
When they left for the start line the two who would have helped me process the timing and generate the results went to help breakdown tables and setup for the post-race awards. In 5 minutes they would have been back at my table.
Seeing the lady struggle with the heavy igloo-thing was too hard to ignore (it was only 15 feet away) even though I knew better. I had a momentary lapse of judgement and paid the price.
In any event I will continue to help out at races. I gain from having volunteers work the races I run; its only right to help out when I can.
Plus, any funds the club generates with race management activities (we are a non-profit organization) go to help local high school track/XC teams (or to college scholorships for high school seniors).
On the bright side by leaving the race early I managed to see my 8 year old daughter compete in her first gymnastics competition (which she won in spite of being the youngest competitor). If I had stayed to process timing and results I would have missed that (and Ii felt very guilty about that leading up to the race).