Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happiness is?

60 degrees on a late Dec. day. Hard to believe it was that warm but it sure did help our turnout for the 15th Race Against Time 5k held Sunday at the Central Y.....shorts and tee shirts....just like a nice spring day. 73 pre registered and 126 day of for 199 total. I lucked out with the tee shirt order which i had to place prior to the Christmas holidays....i ordered 200 psc. We had 15 no shows. Maybe they decided to go play golf rather than run. We had 10 states represented: CA, CO., DE, KY, MD, ND (yep North Dakota), NJ, NY, PA, and VA. 115 of those from Delaware. We went through 30 gal. of water......150 soft pretzels, and 14 doz. bagels. Six runners under 18 minutes and 182 finishers. Lets see if my luck continues with this Sunday's Union Tavern (formally) Bankshots Road to the Super Bowl 5k. Yes.....two weeks early this year. Couple of reasons: 1. Hope for better weather and 2. I get to start my vacation a week earlier. I already have the long sleeve tee shirts in my garage. Once again i had to order prior to Christmas. 275 psc order. Cool logo too. Soft pretzels, Grotto Pizza, bananas, and beer for all who run or walk. Ravens game on at 1pm and plenty of time to get ready for our Eagles game at 4:15......Barb and I wish all of you the very best in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The world of music.

This Christmas many will get mp3 players.....you know...i-pods. Many will download their favorite tunes and rock and roll to the music. At our events the number of runners and walkers who wear these devices continue to grow. I have both an i-phone and a i-pod nano. I love to listen to music when i go for a walk or when riding a stationary bike or working out on the EFX machine. I seem to get a better workout while listening to music. I may be one of the few race directors who allow runners and walkers to wear these devices during our events. All I ask is that you unplug as you get close to the finish line and you are aware that most roads are not totally closed to traffic. I do have one concern. At our 6th Delaware Marathon coming up on May 17th I hire bands to play on the bandstand provided at start finish area. I budget over $1000 to pay these musicians. But if wearing a mp3 the runner has made a decision to listen to his or her own music and not live music. Maybe I am wasting my money on live bands. With our new venue of Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park we can not have loud music till 9 am due to the new residences across the river. On the other hand a DJ can control the volume of the music so i am considering a DJ. to entertain. If you were a race director what would you do? Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Customer Service

Even in road races it is so very important to stress to your volunteers customer service. We really try our best to accommodate you. Sometimes we run out of a tee shirt size and sometimes we run out of tee shirts completely. When this happens I like to cut entry fee to $15. At our Shannon Matthews 5k this past Saturday a runner came up to me at day of registration table. His son had his ATM card and he could not get money to run the race and we did not accept credit cards. He did have $10 but was $10 short. He had a gift card to TGIF Fridays for $10 and asked me if he could use that toward day of entry. No problem .....we used his gift card as part of prize structure. Many times a runner comes up to pre- registration only to find out that we do not have them registered. If they signed up online i have a back up list of those who did so and can take a look to see if we missed him or her. Sometimes the mail is a bit slow and we do not receive the entry in time. We ask the person to fill out a day of registration form and get either cell or home phone number. Most of the times we get the entry in the mail the next few days. Sometimes a person thinks they have registered for an event online only to find out that they did not or in some cases signed up for the wrong event . That happened last year when a young couple showed up at my 5k in Newark and we did not have them on the pre race roster. They had the receipt from Active.com that they did sign up for our race online. I took a look and realized that yes.....they did enter online but for the 5k we were managing in Wilmington the same day. I gave them both race numbers and tee shirts and worked out payment with the other race director. So if you are having a problem and need help just see me or my wife Barb.....we are here to help you solve your problems.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Race directors nightmare.

The 15th Race Against Time 5k marks the last run walk event of 2008 and the 100th event that we managed for the year. On January 4th it all starts over with the 20th Union Tavern (formally Bankshots) Road to the Super Bowl 5k. The following week is the 33rd PSCI Icicle Ten miler then i get some time off. Our next event will be the March 7th Kelly's Logan House 5k. It is a real crap shoot to stage a road race in the winter weather. The race directors nightmare.....ice, snow, sleet, wind and cold temperatures. I use to stage a Winter Series from the JCC with 5k's in Dec. Jan. Feb and March. Problem was ...you guessed it....the weather. I had to cancel events due to icy conditions. I decided then and there that it was just not worth the effort to continue this series. If you follow my schedule you will notice that i moved the Race Against Time 5k to the Sunday prior to New Years eve rather than trying to stage at 4pm event prior to First Night Wilmington on New Years Eve. The main reason was traffic issues. You may have noticed also that the Road to the Super Bowl 5k for the Wellness Community is now two weeks early. The Sunday after New Years Day. Why.....main reason is i would hope for better weather earlier in January. The PSCI Icicle ten miler stays in the same time slot. The JCC Snowball 5 mile race has moved weekends. We use to be the last weekend in February and now we are the second Sunday in March. Why? Better chance the weather will cooperate. I will not accept new events in these winter months. It is just not fair to the organizations trying to raise funds. So bundle up......it is going to be a long cold winter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It is an itis thing......

We have all had it. Tendinitis, bursitis, and maybe even arthritis. Achillies tendon, elbow, wrist, knees. Not much to do about it except stretch, ice, and Advil. But in severe cases you get help. I have not run in 3 months now. I have a serious case of one of the itis in my left hip. I went to my orthopedic Dr. Steve Dellose who took an x-ray. I am not bone on bone and still have cartilage so that is good. It really is painful to get out of my car or from behind my desk. I have to grin and bear it as my hip pops back into place. Not good. I asked the doc if an injection would help. "Not yet" was his answer. I asked him if I would eventually need a new hip. "Not yet" he answered. Plus the doc said "NO running." My comment back was, "I can barely walk let alone run." So now what? He sent me to physical therapy. I decided to go to Elite PT at their new location at the JCC on Garden of Eden Road. Jimmy Hashimoto or Hash has been working with me. He is awesome! I am dedicated to getting better and have been doing stretch exercises daily. I have been able to ride a stationary bike. I tried walking but the next day i was really sore. Yoga has been my salvation. I go to Empowered Yoga on Penna. Ave. I had a streak of 19 days in a row. I take the hour class week days and the hour and half class either Saturday or Sunday. To me it is like a long run on the weekend. If it was not for my hip i would say i have never felt better. My weight is down 10 lbs. I gave up vodka and bread. I go back to Dr. Dellose on the 16th. I guess I will find out more at that time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who emptied the piggy bank?

I received my statement today from Cap Trust. I use these folks for my SEP plans and IRA's. I looked at it.....shook my head .....and I placed it in my Cap Trust file. I decided not to open it. I have what they call a "diversified" portfolio. I decided that i did not want to be depressed so in the draw it went. Who knows how long this free fall will continue. I am thankful that my wife has a good job with benefits (no i did not marry Barb for PSU tickets.....but health benefits is another story) and my business is still strong. Almost every day i get questioned, "has the economy affected your events?" Good question. Our beach races were down 20% this summer. For two good reasons. One is of course the economy and the cost of gas over the summer. Many of our participants come from the DC area and they just did not drive to the beach every weekend. Secondly, my three biggest events in Dewey had horrible weather with heavy rain and lightning. A double whammy. My other events have been very strong. Both the Turkey Trot and Thanksgiving Day events had record crowds. What has effected my events the most is sponsorships. It is getting more and more difficult to get companies to help sponsor our events. I leave sponsorships up to the organizations that hire us. So what will 2009 bring? I don't have a crystal ball but i doubt i will be opening my financial statement in the months to come. See you at the races.