Just .1 Left

Of course, a 5k can’t be a perfect three miles; that’d make too much sense. A 5k is 3.1 miles long. But it’s that last .1 that’s so much fun. That final .1 when the finish line is in sight.
This weekend I labored through the last stages of my 5k. I’ve been steadily planning the Lincoln OM ROARing to Run 5k—a joint effort between Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary School and the Mesa Monument Striders running club—for the past four months. The event is happening next weekend, April 19, and I’ve only got a few days now to get all the remaining details in place.
Just a short distance until I reach that final .1 of this run I’ve been running.
I want to say first of all that though this project has been like an extra half-time job for me, I have had a great time with it. The learning curve has been challenging and I’ve enjoyed thinking about how to make this race the best it can be.
Here are the highlights:
• a flat straightforward course starting and ending at the school
• low registration fees – just $5 for kids
• 30+ volunteers, with many of them on the course to help cheer on the runners and keep children safe
• post-race snacks
• raffle tickets for a kid’s mountain bike
• lots and lots of door prizes
• popcorn for sale
• the school’s bathrooms and drinking fountains handy
• music rocking the race scene
• covered areas in case of inclement weather
• finisher awards for all kids
• age group prizes
• the National Anthem
I’ve completed most of this race, meaning that I’ve put forth most of the mental and physical energy necessary for this race to happen. I’ve learned how to time races, ran several possible routes, secured insurance, checked into permits, created a website, designed a race t-shirt, set registration fees and age groups, selected awards, accepted and stockpiled donated door prizes, planned race day snacks and registration goodie bags, created and distributed flyers, organized a running club at the school to get the students fired up about and trained for the race, lined up volunteers, held committee meetings, and rounded up sponsors.
Thank you to the race committee that helped all the above come to fruition.
This weekend I spent nearly 12 hours in my classroom (which doubles as my 5k planning and storage area) making signs, preparing the results boards, stuffing race bags, and sending emails to all the volunteers with their assignments and instructions.
I think I’ve got enough accomplished and feel ready enough to go with this event to say that the first three miles are done.
And now I’ve got just that final .1 to go, the fun part where I know that all of hard effort is about to pay off. The finish line is in sight, right before my eyes. I’ll be crossing it next Saturday as the event starts, happens, and concludes.
I’m excited. I truly believe it’s going to be a fun time for all – runners and volunteers alike. And what an awesome way to build school-community relations and pride.

Race Director? Yikes!

Race DirectorYou never know where you’re going to end up in life. Right now, I am headed toward Race Directorship. In a little over a month, I’ll be a Race Director. And that thought frightens me a little.

Last month, I helped the Mesa Monument Striders running club with the timing of two small races here in the valley – the Valentine Massacre 3 Mile Prediction Run and the Lions Club’s Cabin Fever Reliever 5k. I am learning how to do the timing so that I’ll know the procedures and what to watch out for on the day of the race that I’m planning, the Lincoln O.M. ROARing to Run 5k (April 19, 8:30 a.m.).

One thing I noticed as I was working the timing table at the Cabin Fever Reliever is that when participants came to us with questions, the guy in charge would say, “Oh, we’re just the timers. You’ll need to ask the Race Director.” Then, he’d point out the man, the Lion, who was in charge and send that person his way. Some of the questions they asked, ooo la la, I was glad I wasn’t yet a Race Director because I wouldn’t know how to answer them and wouldn’t want to deal with them.

Other than learning how to time races, I’ve been busy running possible routes, securing insurance, checking into permits, creating a website, designing a race t-shirt, choosing who will make our t-shirts, setting registration fees and age groups, selecting awards and accepting donated door prizes, planning race day snacks and race day registration goodie bags, creating and distributing flyers, organizing a running club at the school to get the students fired up about and trained for the race, lining up volunteers, trying to think through every little detail that needs to be in place on race day, and the biggie – rounding up sponsors. Did you know that races make most of their money (ours is going toward technology for our classrooms) from their sponsors and not through race registration fees? That will definitely be the case with our race as we are keeping our fees incredibly low so that our students and families will be able to participate in this event.

It’s been a bit stressful and I know I’ll be sleeping a whole lot better after April 19, but trying to organize a race has also been a good learning journey.

I just have a few more things to figure out before I’ll feel comfortable wearing that Race Director hat.