Sunday, November 30, 2008

Exciting Times

At this years Turkey Day 10k and 5k in downtown Wilmington I had a feeling we were going to go over the 2000 participant mark for the first time. I was correct. The 10k is pretty easy to score with 587 finishers. One chute is all it takes. But as I got to the starting line for the 5k I realized just how exciting it is to see so many lined up to run. When the cannon went off I headed to the finish line to get all my vols organized. The 5k goes past the finish area on its way to the turnaround. Wow...what an impressive site watching all these folks running by. I set up two long chutes to time the runners. And to be honest with you I could have used 3 chutes but we just did not have the room on the roads with runners coming both ways. Open chute one...close chute chute two....close chute two. 1416 finishers. Thus making this Delaware's largest road race. Total: 2003 finishers. Is this race too big to time by hand? Yes and no. I can get the job done but there is a better way. Chip timing. On Tuesday prior to race day I sent the race committee a note telling them that after 30 years of handling the finish line duties I will no longer time this event. I will continue to be race director. With chip timing now available it is time to step up and make this race even better. I hire a company who uses chip (transponder timing) for my DE Marathon and Caesar Rodney Half. This will make number 3 chip timed race that i manage. Three of Delaware's premier running events.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkey Trot fever.

Not sure who came up with the name Turkey Trot but you got to admit it sure does fit the occasion. Two of Delaware's oldest races take place this week. The Turkey Trot in Newark and the Thanksgiving Day Run Walk in downtown Wilmington. Both have some things in common. For one both are 10k/ 5k distances. The Newark Turkey Trot now in its 35th year has used the same 10k route for the past 34 years. New neighborhoods have sprung up and the roads are repaved but the course remains the same. The 30th Annual PNC Bank Run Walk for MS on Thanksgiving Day starts downtown at the PNC Bank and continues out and around Rockford Park. Both events are usatf certified. This years Newark Turkey Trot in Newark may surpass the 1000 mark for the first time ever. The Thanksgiving Day event may be Delaware's largest running event with up to 2000 runners. But it was not always this way for these two events. The Newark Turkey Trot use to be a 10k only. Slowly the number of runners dwindled. The 5k was added years ago and this event soon began its come back. Same thing with the Thanksgiving Day event. We use to run a 10k only starting and finishing at Brandywine Creek State Park. We would get 400 to 500 participants which was at the time a really great turnout.....problem was we outgrew the state park. When title sponsor Bank of DE now PNC Bank built its downtown headquarters we decided it best to move the event into the City of Wilmington and add a 5k to the mix. These two events are almost like homecoming for many....just a great way to see family and friends. And work up an appetite for turkey dinner. Hope you can join us.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So you want to stage a road race?

This is the time of year when I start getting requests from those looking to stage a running event in 2009. Funny how every one of these organizations wants to stage a 5k. What ever happened to the 10k or longer? Are we saturated with 5k's here in the area? I guess not. My new half marathon at the DE Marathon may be the only new race I organize in 2009 longer than a 5k. I get requests from organizations wanting to promote new parks, from folks who have lost a loved one, from existing race directors who are unhappy with the direction their race is going, to schools looking to raise funds. The first thing Ido is to put a budget ESTIMATION together for them so they can see what it will cost to stage a 5k. I like to work with the goal of having 200 participants. The number one comment I make is that to "make money you need sponsors to help pay expenses." Here is an example I use to show how important sponsorship is for a road race. A few years back Westside Health staged a 5k. 80 folks signed up at pre registration price. But race day was disaster. A nor'easter came through and even though we were able to get this event in only 40 folks finished the race. Not many signed up race day due to weather. But you know what.....these folks listened to what I said about getting sponsors. They ended up grossing $12,000. So for those who are considering a road race as a fundraiser......I would love to help you out....but remember....."it takes money to make money".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Great weather a 5k, beer and friends.

Kelly's Logan House was nice enough to allow us to use their facility for the 2nd Veteran's Day 5k held this past Sunday. Proceeds from this 5k went to the DE National Guard Reserve Foundation. The inaugural year we had 165 participants. Not bad for a first time event. This year we had a new route which runners raved about. I will certify this course for next years events that will use this route which includes Catherine Rooney's 5k for Ulster Project DE. CSC was our title sponsor. Besides Kelly's Logan House, Plexus Fitness and MOT Running Co (new running store in Middletown, DE) came in as sponsors. We had a great crew of volunteers mostly made up of CSC employees and the Women's Univ. of DE Rugby Club. Total pre registration was 65. Of those 36 signed up online. Day of race weather was perfect. Sunshine and around 60 degrees. With nice weather and a noon start (plus beer at after party) 120 runners signed up race morning for a total of 185 participants. Delaware had 130 participants, Penna had 37 runners, New Jersey 9, Maryland 8, plus runners from Chicago and Colorado. We printed 150 tee shirts and ran out so this was our only real issue of the day. Folks did not mind paying the $20 for this worthy cause. Seven runners broke 18 minutes. With Steve Lafferty running a 15:48. I-pods, $50 gift certificates to Lowes, gift cards from MOT Running Co, plus other prizes were given away as door prizes. Overall winners won gift cards to the Logan House. Age group winners won medals. Refreshents were Michelob Ultra, pizza, soft pretzels, bannans, and oranges. High Point Dairy donated ice tea and lemonade. Many in the crowd were Veterans of the Armed Forces. A nice fund raiser for DE National Guard Reserve Fdn. Thank you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

You be the judge?

I wrote in an earlier blog about the issue with the Nike San Francisco Women's Marathon not awarding the fastest women her first place prize since she did not start in the elite group. Same thing happened in Chicago with the 4th place finisher Wesley Korir also being denied prize money since he did not start with the elite group. Jim Estes, the race referee of Chicago Marathon ruled that Korir was not eligible for the elite prize money because he had been in a seperate race. The following statement came from a publication i subscribe to called Road Race Management. The sidebar called: Elite Start Creates Confusion went on to say that both the Nike San Fran Marathon and the Chicago came out with the following statement: Chicago organizers announced that they would give Korir and undisclosed monetary "bonus" for his performance in Chicago and in San Francisco, race sponsor Nike announced that it would award the women who ran the fastest time equal prize money to the elite race winner. I agree with both closed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New York City Marathon

Barb and I spent Sunday cleaning out our attic. So much stuff up there.....i found my finisher certificates to all the 13 marathons i have finished. My first marathon was the New York City Marathon back on Sunday, Oct. 23rd, 1977. This was I believe the first or second time they ran all 5 boroughs of NY City. I finished in place 2198 in 3:39. But get this....only 6, 000 participants. This past Sunday, the NY Marathon had like 40,000 runners with over 55,000 getting shut out. Wow! I saw this article online that talks about the new NY Jets football stadium selling licence seating. Some 600 fans have bought in and the Jets have raised over $16 million from these sales. The New York Road Runners Club is considering selling licences to those who want to partake in future NY City marathons. So for those of you who want to run this events in future years......start saving. Here is the info: