Running A Race From the Inside

Busy.  Yep, that’s why I haven’t written much lately.  I’ve been really, really busy, busier than I have been in years.  Which is good.  I like busy.  I like feeling like I have purpose.

The main reason I am so busy is that I am putting together a local 5K here in town.  I got involved with the run last year, as a newbie to running, thinking of what a great event it was and how it raised money for lots of local charities.  The run was in its 20th year last year, and the race director made mention to me repeatedly how he’d like to hand off the reins.

Before race day was over, I’d tentatively agreed to be the woman in charge for the following year.

Race day is June 2, and I’ve been working off and on since January on the event.  Things started out slow, with me putting in a few hours a week gaining sponsorships and the like.  But since about April, it’s been a pretty steady part time job (all of it, unpaid, of course).

I like being in charge, don’t get me wrong.  That way I know things are done properly.  But I was a bit unprepared for how many jobs are involved in putting together a race.  At first I thought I could farm some of them out, but as time went on, I either found people didn’t have the skills or the inclination to take on some of these tasks.

Getting sponsors to help defray the costs of the race, so we can donate more money to local causes?  I did that.  I got some help with two or three from the previous race director, sure.  But most of the 40 sponsors came in through me.  Logo design?  Me.  T shirt design and logo capture?  Me.  Keeping track of income and expenses?  Me.  Designing and sending this year’s brochure out to print?  Me.  Putting out the brochures everywhere around town and to other local races?  Mostly me.

A few things I’ve gotten help with, because I’ve quickly realized, and had last year’s race director chide me for, that I simply cannot do everything.  As it is the tasks I’ve done so far were divided amongst four or five people.  But as we get closer and closer to race day, I’ve had to start calling in some favors because I simply cannot put on a race for nearly a thousand people all by myself.   I. Just. Can’t.

That being said, I’m kind of loving it.  I’m learning so much.  Using all those graphic skills long dormant.  Cold calling people, which I’ve always hated, has gotten somewhat easier.   I’ve negotiated for donations of water, money, food.  I never realized I had the skills to negotiate, not with adults anyway.  I’ve met lots of new people through working on this, people in the running community, people I would probably never know otherwise.

I’ve also learned our race goes above and beyond.  Many races don’t offer bags of freebies to their runners; we do.  I’ve never been to a race with a bigger spread of food than ours.  We also put signs up all over town to advertise it; not everyone does that either.

And at the end of all of it,  the goal simply is to have a good, well run race that no one thinks twice about.  No one will pat me on the back or notice all the hours and hours of hard work I’ve put in.  They’ll just see that it all came together and that they enjoyed themselves.  That’s the goal.  That’s running the race from the inside out.

I hope I do it justice.

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