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May 22, 2010

I'M NO DAVE MCGILLIVRAY....

Today was my first attempt at race directing.

Actually, let me take that back. Today, I helped put on a race and then found out at the race (when I was introduced) that I was "The Race Director."

All I could think was "wow, now I can put that on my resume too!"

(really...yes, I'm nerdy enough to always be thinking about how to up my credentials.)

At any rate, it was a small race - about 250 enthusiastic (and 4 angry) people. The amazing feat was that it was all organized in just a little over two months - by two people, Me and the marketing/PR girl for the local car dealership that put the race on (Erin). All of the proceeds will go to benefit the American Heart Association (which as a side note, I was a little alot disappointed that they sent no volunteers to help and only one representative that I met briefly and never saw again.)

A few things I learned about being a RD:

- You are only as good as the person who will assist you. Erin was great. I told her to jump and she said "which vendor should I make the check out to?" (the positive side of having a host with an unlimited advertising budget)

- Putting on a race in 2 months is hard work but in the end, when everyone is happy with their times, their PRs, the race course in general...well, then it's all worth it.

- I should make more notes. I forgot alot of things. Really really important things. Like the fact that race bibs need safety pins to be "bibs." Thank goodness the race was chip timed and that the chip timing company had a coffee can full of safety pins.

- People will never cease to amaze me. We had at least 6 people run both the 5k and the 10k. I don't know about your state, but in Georgia we have a "grand prix series" of races. You run them...you get points for participating...you run multiple races in one day you get multiple points...at the end of the year you get a nice fleece jacket or something cool like that in exchange for your points and the $4,000 you just shelled out during the year in race registration fees and travel expenses. (side note: yes, that was a tone of sarcasm you heard in that last sentence.) Let me get one thing straight: I am all for leading an active and healthy lifestyle which includes walking and running and participating in races. I am all for setting and achieving goals (and I'm assuming the fleece jacket is a goal to many). Unfortunately, I am NOT all for making decisions that are cost-prohibitive and dangerous just to entertain this group of people who are in a conquest match to get that coveted fleece jacket. I'm just not. Especially when I'm told that I'm being unreasonable to ask for two FULL races fees or when I'm asked to extend a race that should only last 2 to 2.5 hours, well into 3 or 4 hours. It's hard to ask the few volunteers we get to stay much later in the day for such a request. But, telling someone that at 6:30am...in a nice way...well, it's really difficult and I just have to say over and over again "people will never cease to amaze me...."

- More people need to volunteer. We had 8 volunteers on a very hilly and multiple-turn course. In other words, those 8 people had to man two water stations, registration and packet pickup, the food tables, and the finish line. And at least one of those volunteers was an actual race participant helping with late registration. In the end we didn't have enough volunteers to even have a single person on the course directing people in the right direction (we did have the Sheriff dept, REACT, and a couple of really nice paramedics on the course though). And in the end, at least 2 people (who did the 5 and the 10k) who did in fact get lost on the 10k course. I have to thank Kristen for getting me 4 volunteers at the very last minute; Marcus and Teri for taking care of registration, packet pickup and the finish line; Tiffany for jumping in and setting up the food tables; Andy and A?? who also helped with packet pickup and registration (I am bad at remembering names...I think it was Angela?)); Cindy and her daughter for manning a water station and telling the 5kers where to turn around (and I heard from the course participants that they did an awesome job); and ?? - I can't remember her name either but she manned the 10k water stop - solo - and was very enthusiastic about it! Thank you guys!!!! It certainly would not have gone so smoothly without you!

In the end, I had a great time...I love to see my friends run and win (RC, of course). And I like to see the participants get really cool awards. I was excited to see my nephew run across the finish line with a smile on his face because this was the first 5k he's ever run without stopping! I was happy to see the best assistant in the world (that's you Stacy) have a huge PR! I was entertained by the amount of people that came up to me after the race to ask my why Troy ran without shoes on.

Would I do it again? Possibly. Would my services render an invoice? Absolutely.

Have a great weekend!

5 comments:

Char said...

Sounds like a mighty effort that paid off. You did a great job (we won't talk about those safety pins) Well done!

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Anne said...

You think the quest for a fleece jacket is crazy, what about the Western States runners who put themselves through torturous conditions and great expense...for a belt buckle.

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