Sunday, December 27, 2009

year in review...

The year 2009 was a Super Bowl type year for races2run. In a down economy we had our best year in 32 years of business. If you know anything about football you know how difficult it is to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. So I know we have our work cut out for us in 2010. Yes......sponsorship for events was down. But the number of runners participating in our events was up. 2010 will be a challenge. We lost some events but we have also picked up some new events including the LDAF Race For Autism Half Marathon & 5k in Lewes, DE. My team and I are really excited about our new chip timing business. EdJaH Chip Timing Systems will be very busy in 2010. We have two teams ready to handle events and I am working on a third team. We use the IPICO chip which is what the Ironman Triathlon Championships just purchased. Our CCHS DE Marathon was a huge success. The weather was cool and wet early on and our new venue proved a hit to all involved. The Seven Sister Series in Dewey Beach also had great crowds which showed that even in a weak economy folks still come to the beach as long as gas in not $4.50 a gallon. The Michelob Race to the Finish Line Series was a blast. Restaurants are great venues to stage a road race and when you add beer to the refreshment list the race becomes a social hour or some would say, "Happy Hour." I guess my most proud moment of 2009 is how my staff took over my business when I was laid up from hip surgery. Once again I will put them to the test as I am scheduled to have my other hip replaced in March of 2010. We all look forward to the racing walking season 2010. See you next year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New 26.2 mile series.....

I think this new series will get some attention. How fast can you run a marathon? fast do you think you can run 26.2 miles using three events? That's right.....3 events: April 11th LDAF Half Marathon (13.1 miles), July 11th North Beach 5k (3.1 miles) and the Bottle & Cork Ten miler Sept. 11th will combine for a total mileage of guessed it.....26.2 miles. I am working with Michelob Ultra as sponsor for this series and will announce prize structure and rules after the new year. To enter this series you have to send in an extra $10 payable to LDAF when entering the LDAF Half Marathon. This entry fee will go directly to LDAF as proceeds from this series. We will post updates after each event on races2run home page. BTW....if you have not heard races2run is now the event manager for the LDAF Half Marathon and 5k now starting and finishing at Irish Eyes in Lewes, DE. EdJaH Chip Timing Systems ( a division of races2run) will chip time both events. Other series events are going to be discussed at my meeting on January 6th so stay tuned. Enjoy the holidays

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Running in the snow......

Today (12-19) we are getting over a foot of snow. I went to yoga class this morning. I live 2 blocks from the yoga studio so I have no excuse when the weather is bad. As I walked home I could not help but think about the old days when i was in training for a marathon and how I would run in weather like this. I will never forget a snow storm back in 1979. I was training for our Minuteman Delaware Marathon to be held the first Sunday in March. I was scheduled to run for two hours but had second thoughts after a serious snow storm. So what was one to do? Back then i use to live above my running shoe store at 623 Delaware Ave across the street from the old O'Friels Irish Pub. On the other side of the street was a cemetery. The loop inside the cemetery was plowed. The iron door gate is always open so I got my two hour run in by doing loops around the cemetery. I got to was spooky but also quiet and in a weird way beautiful. I am sure you too have some interesting stories about running in the snow.....feel free to share them with me. Time to go shovel the walk way.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early bird special

One thing you just have to love about Ft.Myers ......early bird specials! You dinner between 4 pm and 6 pm and get a huge discount. My problem is that I just don't eat dinner that early thus the early bird deal does me no good. I did find plenty of happy hours here from 3 to 6 pm. .99 cent 16oz draft beer got my attention. Believe it or not I get more work done here this time of year than i would at home. I have been working on my website and emailing my contacts about our events in 2010. I had lunch with Mark Toretsky from Lin Mark Computer Sports the other day. We met in Sanibel at Grandma Dots. A nice restaurant on the water. We talked about last years events and about my Delaware Marathon. Best part was he picked up the lunch tab. If you are looking to save money on entry fees next year please sign up early. Most r2r events will have a 3 tier entry fee schedule. An example is our Seven Sister Series. Sign up early and entry fees are $16. Sign up the week of the race and the entry fee is $20. Wait till race morning and the entry fee goes to $25. I know for some the early bird discount will be beneficial. But for those who procrastinate .....well.....expect to pay a bit more. Here in Ft Myers the last race staged had pre entry $15 and day of entry $25. Guess you snooze you loose.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In kind sponsorship

When ever I work on a budget for a road race I always tell who ever I am hired to work for that sponsors are needed to help pay expenses. In today's world easier said than done. Money sponsors this past year were down. Runners at our events were up. So where does this lead to? In kind sponsors can make a race a financial success. For years Pine Mt. Water Co. donated water to our events. That is one less expense to pay. Someone on a race committee will print 500 copies of the race flyer using company paper and copy machines. One less expense to pay. A committee member owns a restaurant and we decide to stage the race there. No need for porta potties. One less expense to pay. The restaurant will also bring in a food vendor to donate refreshments. One less expense to pay. Now comes the kicker. At our Caesar Rodney Half Marathon I wrote in a blog about the idea of using tech shirts for all runners. But we could not afford both tech shirts and finisher medals. Would someone out there be able to donate these tech shirts? Yes. Mike from the Delaware Running Co. was able to work this out with one of his vendors to have them sponsor our shirts for next years event. Wow! That is a savings to the American Lung Association of over $6,000. De. Running Co. is now a Platinum sponsor for the CR Half. In kind good as money.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Compliments and complaints

As a race director I always like to hear a compliment about a race we stage. But to be honest with you a complaint helps make me a better race director. For our Delaware Marathon I don't bother to read the comments posted on till 6 months after the race. I hold a meeting with my operations director Joel Schiller immediately after the marathon to go over what we feel we can improve on. We take notes and get to work on making the negatives a positive. I just read the comments on about our latest Delaware Marathon. So many nice comments but yes....many complaints also. We compare notes of what folks would like to see improved. I would say 95% of the complaints we have already discussed and have game plans to correct. So keep those comments coming. We try to do our best but we always like to hear what you .....the runner has to say.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Got to go......

This years PNC Bank Run Walk for MS brought out over 2000 runners and walkers. And guess what? No porta potties on site. So where do you go when you "gotta go"? For this event we asked folks to head over to the Central YMCA or the Sheraton Suites both next to the starting line of the 10k. Why? MONEY is the main reason. Porta potties cost close to $100 each. You do the math. 10 potties and you have spent a grand. We had HUGE signs placed on the windows of PNC Bank letting folks know where bathrooms were located. Some lucky ones used the bathrooms behind the PNC Bank lobby which we did not have permission to use. I guess they were vip's. (very important pee'ers?) Did I get any complaints about lack of porta potties? You bet I did. You can never have enough bathrooms prior to race start. Another example is my CCHS Delaware Marathon. We have 20 porta potties at the start and folks tell me that is not enough. If I was a runner waiting in porta pottie line at my DE Marathon I would have gone half a block down the street to the Wilmington Train Station and used their bathrooms. No lines....plenty of stalls, and much cleaner. So if you gotta go you gotta go.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Teaching this old dog new tricks

My webmaster lives in California and works for Disney. Just came back from vacation he sent me an email explaining why he believes races2run should have a twitter account. He said it would be good for my business. I have heard so much about "Twitter" that I was curios to hear more. He explained it all to me and even sent me a "etiquette guide" for sending Tweets. I let him set up an account for
races2run. Tweets are short sentences that you send to your followers usually once a day. So lets say my PSCI Icicle run in January has issues with the weather. I can send out a Tweet to let folks know the latest updates. I am still learning all about Twitter but so far so good. So if you want to follow us just click Follow races2run located on my homepage. Who know....maybe Facebook is next.....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rotherham Harriers.....

I received an email that really made me think of when I started my running store business. It was from Ralph Rowbotham from Rotherham England. I will never forget back in 1979 (way before the internet and emails) I received a letter mailed to my store from England. I opened it up and it was a letter from the president of the Rotherham Harriers Running Club, Jack Phipps. A group of 12 were coming to the US to run the New York City Marathon and he wrote me to see if I would be willing to play host to their club after the marathon for a week stay in of all places....Wilmington, DE. They got my name from Runners World Magazine. I use to advertise in their classified section. I called Tom Fort, Pres. of the DE Sports Club and he said he would host a couple. Doug White said the same as did Bill Spiker. My brother Ray and I also had room for a couple. Guido Schiavi too was game. I wrote back that we would play host. We all met at the Wilm. train station. One week of parties. I set up visits to Washington DC via Joe Biden's office. A trip to Philly to see the Liberty Bell. A trip to the Amish Country and much more. They even ran a 10k while here that I organized and the News Journal sponsored. All had a great time. The following year 8 of us went to Rotherham (Yorkshire County) and spent a week with them and ran their marathon. They showed us around and we all had a fabulous time. Ralph Rowbotham sent me the surprise email to say hello and to say hello to all who played host to the Harriers visit. Vice President Biden's name in the news brought back fond memories of their visit to Washington and the states and via the internet he found my email address. It really is a small world.

Friday, November 13, 2009

time to delegate

Here I sit at the Orlando airport waiting out flight delay back to Phila. Weather here is perfect...sunny and 70 degrees. Barb told me I may not make it home in time for the Girls on the Run 5k tomorrow (Sat.). I told her if that's the case I would delegate my duties to her and my management and chip timing team. I will never forget the first time I delegated some of my work to my wife. It was at the Run for Independence 5 miler with the post race party at Oscars Restaurant on Market Street Mall in Wilmington. This was back in the eraly 90's. I was just coming off a case of mono and could not talk. I asked Barb to handle the awards for me since I could not speak. I hung out at the back of the restaurant sipping a beer as Barb handled the awards. I was with two friends, Chuck Highfield and Gail Kasey. I could not believe how well spoken Barb was on the microphone. She was doing a fabulous job! I turned to Chuck and Gail and said, "Guess I will not be doing awards anymore." I learned a small lesson here. Don't be afraid to delegate some duties to your key people. Barb is so much better than I am on the microphone. She is the "voice of races2run." As I get older I have learned how to delegate more and more. The greatest honor I can get is when I delegate a race to one of my staff and the organizer emails me to let me know what a fabulous job my staff did at their event. Compliments don't come easy and this really puts a smile on my face. I am on the right track.

Friday, November 6, 2009

2010 race calendar....

This time each year I start emailing the race directors who hire us to see if they plan on staging their event again in 2010. Some emailed me months ago to reserve a date. To be fair I try and pencil in all existing races we manage in my 2010 calendar. I then contact these folks and hopefully they are happy with their existing date. Before I book a new event I always have what I call "first right of refusal" for an existing race date. An example would be if an organization contacts me and wants to stage a race on lets say June 6th of 2010. I would tell them that is the annual St. Anthony's Italian Festival 5k race date and they have first right of refusal for using that date. If for some reason St. Anthony's decides not to hold their event of if they decide to move to another date then I would book this new race. When handling events on the Wilmington Riverfront I work closely with Shane Brey from the Riverfront Development Corp. He schedules not only my events but many other walks and functions on the Riverfront. When a group wants to move to an open date on my calendar I may be able to schedule them on the riverfront IF nothing else is going on that day. I have already started to plug in dates for 2010 through June. Some new events have been added and some first time events from last year may not be back. October is always the most difficult month to schedule since we do so many home coming 5k's and the Scott Mackler 5k moves dates each year due to scheduling of bar mitzvah's at the synagogue. Like a jig saw takes time to coordinate but it always seems to work out in the end. Hopefully 2010 will be no different.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Running junkie

Two weekends ago we had an unusual schedule. Saturday, Oct. 24th and Sunday, Oct 25th we were handling 5 events. The rain dampened spirits at the Buddy Run Walk on the river front but sill almost 200 runners and walkers participated and raised over $25,000. That afternoon Ursuline Academy (1pm start) held its Mrs. Cap Memorial 5k. With rain coming down we had less than 100 finishers but the sponsors were happy. Jon Clifton handled that event for races2run. Barb and I headed south to Lums Pond State Park for the DE Greenways 5k a 3pm start. With rain still coming down this event had less than 100 finishers but all had a great time. This could be one of Delaware's fastest 5k's. Sponsors plan on certifying the route next year. On Sunday morning Barb and I headed to the river front for the E-Rasing the Blues 10k and 5k. We chip timed this event working with EdJaH Chip timing systems. The weather cleared out and we had 800 finishers and raised over $130,000! At noon Chip and Doris Bixler handled our 10th Scott Mackler 5k with almost 500 finishers. For those looking to get in a few races it was a weekend made in heaven. Bob Wolhar from Rehoboth Beach has a goal of running over 100 races a year. This weekend he ran all 5 of our events plus the 10k and 5k at the E Racing the Blues for a grand total of 6 races in two days! 21.7 miles total running plus he drove back and forth from the beach since he had to let his dog out. Bob....your a "running junkie." Impressive.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Male Search.....

It has been 6 months now since i got my new titanium hip. I am thrilled with my progress. No pain what so ever. That is the good news....the bad news is I went to my orthopedic surgeon to have my other hip x-rayed. Bad news is I am stage 3 (4 is the worst) and will now get my hip injected with cortisone on Tuesday. The good news is that it should last for 6 months to a year. We'll see what happens. It is a bitch getting through airport security. I stand there and the officer waives me through the metal detector. I tell him, "new hip." "Male search" he yells and then asks me to step aside. A male security guard opens another door and puts me in this glass room where I can watch my baggage come off the conveyor belt. "This your stuff" he asks? Yep....and he puts it on floor where I can see that no one is walking off with my laptop and cell phone. He tells me to have a seat and I watch him put on latex gloves. He then takes the magic wand and go over all parts of my body to make sure I am not carrying a bomb and then they frisk you just to make sure. A bit humiliating but I no longer have a choice if i want to continue to travel via air. I just wish they would have a female security officer frisk me rather than the guys. Would be much more fun.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?

I checked my email acct today and had a handful of folks forward me the article in the New York Times Sports section about "Slow Marathoners." Just how slow is slow? Well if you can't run walk a marathon in 6 hours I would say that you are slow. Now...that is just my opinion. This is the time we give runners at our Delaware Marathon. Last year at our Delaware Marathon we had 529 finishers. Out of those only 12 runners did not break the 6 hour mark and one finished in 7:11. That is like .022% of the field. What you don't know is we sent out an email to all those who put down estimated time of 6 hours plus to let them know we were going to have an early bird start beginning at 6:15 am which would be a 45 minute head start. With chip timing we can do this unofficial start. It worked. It got the slow runners off the course in the 6 hour time limit and allowed our volunteers to relax and head home. Also, we have to have time limits with the City of Wilmington to open up the streets to afternoon traffic. Six hours into the marathon was the best we could manage. The medal at the finish line means so much to the slow marathon runners. They know they will never win a marathon but for them to finish is good enough for them. I applaud them all.....I remember when i was running marathons. My best was 3:20 but i started to slow down and enjoyed the 4 hour marathon pace. But after 4 hours i just get too beat up. I told my wife Barb, "if it takes me longer to run 26 miles than it does to play a round of golf then i am done with running the marathon." You know what..... my golf game improved.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weather or not......

What do you tell the organization that hires you when they have concerns about the upcoming weather pattern. Heavy rain and high winds with cold temps in the low 40's is not your ideal running / walking weather. I try not to cancel a race the day prior since the weather channel is not 100% accurate (don't tell that to my wife). I always meet with race organizers the morning of the event to make the call. When you are running on public roads safety concerns are issue #1. At the Nun Run I discussed options with the race committee. Option one was to run the race. Option two was to cancel the race. And option 3 was to re schedule. Barb rode the race route with one of the committee members and there were no issues with the course. If the committee decided to cancel folks who showed up (85 pre registered) would get their tee shirt. When race day weather is that bad you can't count on race day registrations. In fact only 20 folks signed up race day. We had 60 finishers total. A shame since this was a major fundraiser. But the Nun Run committee did have many sponsors to pay the expenses. So they were able to show a profit. The following day we had the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Rodney Square. We had horrible wet cold weather and 219 finishers. Not too bad considering the weather. The walk that followed had 2,500 participants down from 5,000 in ideal weather last year. Good news was that the other 2,500 no shows already paid but just did not show up. Like Vic Zwolak says, "you just can't control the weather."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Big Fish.....

I met my wife Barb via the Ronald McDonald House of Delalware back in 1990 when she was on the first board of the Ron McD House. She approached me to stage a 5k run walk as a fundraiser for the house. This past April we held our 20th anniversary of our 5k with a goal of raising $20,000. We staged this event on the grounds of the duPont Hospital for Children. Even with horrible weather we were able to hit our financial goal. I was nursing my new hip at the time and was not able to be at this event. My streak of 19 in a row now broken. We are always thinking of ways to make this event better. We have pretty well maxed out on participants at the duPont Hospial location and we want to continue to grow this special event. So next April
24th we will move the 21st annual event to the new Big Fish Grill on the Wilmington Riverfront. Barb and I have been customers of the Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth for many years and we got to know the staff on a first name basis. When we approached them to sponsor this event they emailed back, "we would be thrilled to be host to this long standing fundraiser." A usatf certified course, post race refreshments compliments of the Big Fish Grill, and plenty of Michelob Ultra beer. Barb and I hope you will put us on your 2010 calender.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

International flavor....

At Sunday's Grotto Pizza Run Eat Run event we had 38 participants sign up for the He Man division. That means eating a 16" large pie. 81 entered the Jr. Division and only a handful did the no pizza division. For a first time event I must say that it was a blast. We even had a gentleman visiting his girl friend partake from Ottawa, Canada. Here is the note he email me:

Chris Macknie from Ottawa, Canada here.
I'd like to say a belated but very big thank you for organizing the Grotto Pizza Run last Sunday. It was the funnest race I've ever done. I sent a race report about it to my running friends here in Ottawa, and they're all very jealous of the fun I had in Newark. My girlfriend Zoe (who won the women's Jr. Pizza title) will still be attending UD next fall, so we'll both be back to defend our Masters' titles.
Thanks again, and good luck with the rest of your races. You guys have an awesome running scene in northern Delaware.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What is your choice?

It has been one hectic week. Eleven races in 8 days. Plus meetings to go to during the day. Time to catch my breath. Our Caesar Rodney Half Marathon committee met last week. In this economy we are holding our own with sponsorship money but still not near where we would like to be. At last years CR half we gave out finisher medals. A nice perk. The long sleeve tee shirt continues to be a blend of cotton polly. I looked into what a long sleeve performance tee would cost. I found a well made performance tee that would cost $2.50 more than a long sleeve cotton poly tee. Problem is if we order 1600 psc. that would add $4,000 to budget. It does not look like we could do both performance tee and finisher medals with our budget so tight. So, as a runner who plans on running the CR half ....if you had to choose would you prefer a performance long sleeve tee and no finisher medal? Or a cotton poly long sleeve tee and a finisher medal? Or do you have any other suggestions? Your feedback is welcome.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Staples and chips

Today at our Pro PT 5k in Middletown we used our chip timing system for the 4th time. The difference was that today we placed our timing mats at the start of the race so runners received both gun time and chip times. I have all the confidence in the world in my business partner Ed Hartwell and put him to the test today. The start was about a quarter mile from the finish line. This meant that we had to pick up the timing mats and move to finish line in timely fashion and then re set up before the first runner came across the line. We are talking about 8 minutes to set up at the finish line. Set up went better than expected. The first runner came across the mats and was chip timed. As a back up I continued to use my time machine to click in runners but instead of stapling tags on my scoreboards i placed them on a spindle. No staples needed today. The age group results were posted in 40 minutes. I asked Ed to go ahead and print out the complete list of finishers even though there were a handful of walkers on route. This caused an issue with the software and we had to hand enter the last few walkers. A call to the software developer should solve this problem. Our next chip timed race will be at the Run for Rett 5k at Frawley Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 4th. I will leave the score boards home. No staples needed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Power of the safety vest

I keep a safety vest in my car at all times. At the Miles for Melanoma 5k on the Riverfront I used my vest acting as a traffic cop. Two days before this 5k at Dravo Plaza we found out that 4 to 5,000 Muslims would be attending a celebration of Eid-al-Fitr at the Chase Center. Depending on the phase of the moon Saturday night this ceremony would be Sunday at 8:30 am or on Monday. Riverfront Development Corp. and the Chase Center never warned us about this conflict. Either way cars filled with runners and walkers and cars with Muslims were all trying to get to the same location. Cars backed up going nowhere. So with vest on I stood at intersection on Justison Street at the new Big Fish directing cars to Frawley Stadium parking lot rather than to lot at Dravo Plaza. I got my cell phone out and called my connection at the Wilm. Police to let him know that traffic was a nightmare. At the same time a Wilm. Police car comes up from behind. I said, "hey...I got Gordie (Sgt. Transue) on the phone" and handed him my cell. I am still directing traffic and the cops take off with my cell phone. Five minutes later they come back and tell me to call Gordie back. I asked, "can you help me out here?" They took off and went down to the intersection at Beech St. and Justison to control traffic flow. Next thing i know a Muslim dressed in traditional garb comes running at me yelling that his people need to get to the Chase Center for service and he wanted them to go straight to Dravo Plaza for parking. I told him that Frawley Stadium has more open spots since the runners took up the parking spaces at Dravo. He would not listen and jumped in front of me like some crazy man and starting directing cars to Dravo. One thing i have learned in life....don't get involved and don't argue so I said ..."adios amigo" and headed back to Dravo to get ready for our 9am start. What a way to start my day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Main Street, Newark, DE

A busy day yesterday. Physical therapy in the morning.....meetings all afternoon. Met with folks who are organizing the 5k at St Anthony's in the Hills at 3 pm. The route we were going to run had to be changed. The last time we ran this 5k was back in 1988. Doug White will remeasure in time for Saturday's race. Then off to Grottos Pizza on Main Street in Newark to meet with managers about the Run Eat Run 2 miler on Oct. 4th. We discussed the route, volunteers, set up, and awards. Jon Clifton was with me and he took these folks on a tour of the course (he measured) and showed them where the pizza truck would be set up and where volunteers were needed. In the mean time I walked down Main Street to meet with Ryan Germain at Cafe Gelato to discuss his 10 miler on Nov. 1st. It was the first time I was in his restaurant. I was very impressed. Chip and Doris Bixler will handle this race for me due to conflict of schedules. I then walked back to Grottos to wait for Jon to pick me up for our next meeting down Main Street at Fusion Fitness to discuss the Main Street Mile on Oct. 3rd. Sitting there I was amazed at how many students were walking and talking on cell phones. Just a sign of the times. At my meeting at Fusion we decided on two starts. One at 8 am for open men and women and one for elites at 8:15. A very productive day on Main Street.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wake up call

It's Saturday the 12th of Sept. Seven Sisters event at the Bottle & Cork. My 33rd Bottle & Cork event in a row. My alarm goes off at 4:00 am. Coffee, weather channel and Sports Illustrated and out the door to set up route. Field chalk for the turns......spray chalk on the straight a ways. I have all the mile markers placed in order that I was putting them out. In Henlopen Acres I use yellow directional arrows on metal stakes to put in the ground. (No chalk allowed). Then I placed traffic cones along Route 1. I usually delegate this job to Doug White but he was in Montreal with the Wellness Community. It was a bit scary that time of morning. Only saw two other vehicles. One a bread truck and one a garbage truck. I saw one "Walk of Shame." (young babe heading home at 5:45 am with pillow under arm after a long night out). When i got to Bellevue Street at Bayard Street I breathed a sigh of relief. The foot of water which was there the day before was now gone so no need to re route course. We had a horrible storm Thursday night. Many areas of Dewey were flooded out. I went back to pick up Barb and on to the Cork we went. Set up tables, chairs, water table, registration table. All in 15 minutes with the help of the Cork staff. Beebe volunteers showed up on time at 6:30 am and registration opened on time at 6:45 am. The weather was overcast and cool. Not your typical Cork weather. Sad part of the day was saying goodbye to our friends we have made at the Seven Sister series. Kind of like camp. We hug each other good bye and can't wait till next years series. At noon Barb and I sat and drank a few beers at a local bar and watched Penn State kick butt over Syracuse. All in a days work. I feel jet lagged.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Conflicting events

I received an email from a friend of mine to let me know that the ALS organization out of Phila. would be staging their annual walk on Saturday, Sept. 12th. No problem here i thought. I continued to read the email when it said on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk starting at 9 am. Oh we go again. Our 33rd Bottle & Cork ten miler runs the length of the boardwalk and the leaders would hit the 6 mile mark which is on the boardwalk at Rehoboth Ave around 8:30ish. But the middle of the pack runners would have some serious issues getting through the crowd of walkers and wheel chairs. I called City Manager Greg Ferese of Rehoboth and asked him why would he give out two permits for the use of the boardwalk on the same day? "I made a mistake" was his answer. The ALS folks did not realize that the Cork run is always the Saturday after Labor Day. I called the person in charge of the ALS walk. I always try and work out a compromise if possible. I asked him if he could move his walk back one hour. "No way since it gets too hot for those in wheelchairs>" I said how about I move my start up 15 min to 7:45 am and ALS move a half hour back to 9:30 am. We struck a compromise. Hopefully this will allow all runners to get through this portion of the race without any problems. One more issue to deal with. The boardwalk is going to be under construction from Laurel street to Prospect Street starting Tues. Sept. 8th. But I will not know if we have to detour off the boards till I come down on Friday. Just in case Doug White re measured so course will still be certified. I wish the ALS folks all the best with their walk. I just hope they move their event back one week next year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pizza Run

Runners love to eat. Now lets see if you like to run, eat, and then run. Grotto Pizza called me to set up a meeting for an event they would like to stage. While driving to meet with them I was thinking how cool to have a race that Grotto's sponsor. Runners and walkers can do a 5k then pig out on pizza and beer. But this is a race like no other. Only two miles as a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House of DE set for Sunday, October 4th at 11 am. We will start at Academy Street at Main Street and run down Academy to the new trail. Once you get there you either have to (1) turn around and head back to finish (open category), (2) eat a Jr. pizza, or
(3) go for it and eat a large pizza (the He Man division). Grotto staff will handle this and I can't imagine how many can eat a whole large pie and then run another mile. But if I did not have to work this race I would be at the starting line in the He Man division. Just to fill you in (no pun here) Krispy Kreme donuts has a run in N. Carolina where you have to eat a dozen donuts on route. And they get over 1,000 runners and walkers. I will delegate tearing tags for this one. I would like to keep my shoes clean.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To feed an Army......

I never really thought about how much food we put out for runners and walkers. I just make sure we have enough to go around. At this past Sunday's Inaugural Greene Turtle Lewes 5k manager Jason King gave me the stats on what it took to feed 200 runners and their guests. Here goes:
40 lbs bananas, 120 danish, 60 lbs egg mix, 30 lbs bacon, 2 cases cantaloupe, 200 muffins, 200 bagels, 240 16oz bottles of water, 2 lbs cream cheese, 15 lbs of chicken wings and to wash it all down......2 kegs of Michelob Ultra. I got to tell you......and I believe all who were at this race will of the best post race spreads of all the events we handle. Nobody left hungry. Just a fantastic fundraiser for the Wellness Community. Congratulations to the Greene Turtle Lewes. A first class sponsor.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Footloose and Carefree

I had a good laugh the other day at my Highway One Group 10k held in Dewey. I was in the chute tearing tags when this young kid comes through the chute and hands me his tear off tag. I looked at his feet and he was wearing a pair of those 5 finger (toe) Vibram shoes. I asked him what he thought of them and he said, "love em." this new best selling book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (who is from Lancaster, Pa) is getting folks thinking about barefoot running. I have no problem with this since I remember when I was in high school getting in shape for the upcoming football season part of my training was running on the beach barefoot. I loved it. At the Westside Health 5k held a few weeks ago I had a runner run bare foot. I asked him how it felt to run a 5k in bare feet. "Painful" was his answer. Just something he wanted to try after reading the BOOK. So for you folks looking for something different try going barefoot. Look at all the money you will save on running shoes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Little league parents

I just love having all these young kids at our events. At our Seven Sister Series in Dewey we have age groups 9 and under, 10 to 13, 14-18. It is always a kick to watch these kids get up on stage and receive their medals. At Sunday's 5k I neglected to announce that one of the young kids set a new course record. Not on purpose mind you but just an honest mistake. His father approched me and let me know I did not announce that his son set a record. I apologized to both him and his son. He went on to let me know how unhappy he was. I brought his son back up on stage and had Barb announce to the crowd that he set an age group record. And here i am thinking about what little league parents must go through. Not easy being a parent. Foul Ball!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

10k detour

This coming Saturday will be our 7th Highway One Group 10k and 5k at Ruddertown in Dewey Beach. This race is unique in the fact that both 5k and 10k runners start the same time and run the same first 5k together. Those running the 5k turn into Ruddertown and head to the finish while those in the 10k continue down Highway One (heading South) to the 10k turnaround. They then head back to Ruddertown for the finish. Depending on the weather (and how much you drank the night before) some who sign up for the 10k end up running the 5k. I have no problem scoring these folks as part of the 5k. If you know Dewey Beach you also know that there is not much room to run a 10k thus the route along the "dead zone" or Highway One. So for those who hated this section of the course I have some good news. Del Dot will not be able to place traffic cones on the route this year due to budget cuts. (if someone out there would like to sponsor this it will only cost you $1,700) so this year those running the 10k will run the 5k course twice. It will be certified and water will be available at 4 locations on route. I think this will work out just fine. The 10k runners will now have a cheering section as they make the turnaround in Ruddertown. Don't parking at meters and on street till 11 am. IF you get a ticket make sure you give to me or Barb.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Paper Chase

Are you a fan of paper race applications? Or do you just search the internet for upcoming events? Over the last few years I have found as race director that more and more folks are NOT using paper entry forms but going online to enter events. There are two events that I manage that will no longer be using paper race applications. Both may surprise you. The CCHS Delaware Marathon and the Seven Sisters of Dewey Beach will go digital next year. Both events have their own websites:
For those who do not wish to pay the online administrative fee you will be able to print out a universal entry to enter these two races. Plus the Delaware Running Co. is gracious enough to let folks drop off entries to their store. We do plan on sending out electronic e-mail post cards to our e-list as a save the date notice. We will have a enlarged post card advertising the event at our local races and other events in the area. So if you see less paper on our entry form table just think of all the trees we will be saving. I hope.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Will you be there?

I have been timing the Newark Turkey Trot for years. One of Delaware's oldest road races it will celebrate its 36th year come this November. It use to be a 10k only and about ten years ago (maybe longer) I suggested they add a 5k. Bingo. The race started to grow and last year over 1000 runners and walkers participated. Last year entry fees were $15 pre and $20 day of event. If you wanted to run both the 10k and the 5k cost was $25 which I believe is reasonable. A friend of mine handed me an article that was in the Wilmington News Journal with headlines, "Newark recreation fees going up." Seems that City Manager Kyle Sonneberg believes he can bring in more than $50,000 extra with increased fees. Here is one example of what he has in mind. Turkey Trot fees go from $15 pre registration to $62 for Newark residents and $82 for non residents. What City Council agreed upon was that entry fees will continue to go up the next four years instead of all at once. with fee increases limited to a 25% increase for residents and a 33% increase for non residents. I have no idea at this time what they plan on charging for day of registration. With entry fees for a 10k / 5k at $62 and $82 how many runners walkers do you think will attend? One of Delaware's oldest road races may just become one of Delaware's most expensive. Will you be there?

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's about time......

There is so much history in Delaware road racing. Not only for those who run but for folks like me who organize and time these events. I remember the first event I timed in 1977. We handed out numbered popsicle sticks to each finisher who would then have to go to the scorers table and tell them who they were and the scorer would fill in the blanks for awards. Soon enough I started using tear off tag race numbers. I would post these tags on score boards that I make up. I would use the DE Sports Club Chronomix timer which would print out times and places. Soon enough I bought a Seiko timer that did the same thing but was the size of a remote control that you use for your t.v. I started to computerize my events and soon enough I bought a Time Machine that would allow me to down load times into my soft ware rather than doing so by hand. So what is the next step. Chip timing? Yes. I am getting into the chip timing business. I have invested in the IPICO chip timing system which I believe is an affordable way to time our races. I have a business partner Ed Hartwell who will be handling this for me. Our new partnership will be called EdJah Chip Timing. A division of races2run. Both Ed and I are very excited about this new venture. We will not be timing all races2run events but I do hope to time many of them. The cost for a lost chip is only $3.50. Entry fees that have been at $16 pre and $20 day of will go to $18 pre and $22 day of event IF using the chip. If timing by hand fees will stay the same. We hope to be up and running by mid August. You will not see an increase in entry fees till Dec. of 2009. I continue to be amazed at the technology involved in scoring road races. I guess I could always go back to the popsicle sticks if all else fails.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tour de France....Tour de Lance

I am not much of a biker......hate riding the roads with cars and trucks. Spinning class is more my style. I must admit.....I do love watching the Tour de France in HD. The country side these guys ride is beautiful. They are all super human. And talk about traffic.....the only traffic is the bikers staff and medical in their inked up autos. Cool look if i must say so myself. This is also the time of year when i start getting emails asking when the Tour de Lance 5k will take place. Sad to say we are not having this event this year. Race director Brad Glazier built an event that grew in popularity from day one. But it was just him, his wife and friends who did all the work. Yes...I timed and managed the event but Brad and the gang went out and got sponsors and volunteers. With huge crowds and many sponsors he gave back to the runner more than anyone expected. With the economy in the tank (but getting better) many of the sponsors who helped out with cash donations were just not able to come back this year. After forwarding emails to Brad from those looking to run the 5k Brad has decided to bring back the 5k next August 18th on the Wilmington Riverfront. will be worth the wait.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Is there a doctor in the house?

A few weeks ago at one of our 5k events the organization that hired my company told me that they did not want to hire para medics for their 5k due to the cost. Now you have to understand that when I am hired to manage a race the first thing i do is put together a budget estimation so each and every event knows up front what these road races will cost. Under medical I have 2 para medics. Cost $160. My wife Barb handles ALL medical issues for me. She arranges to have para medics at all our events. Especially in the heat of summer. For the City of Wilmington events she deals directly with Cheif Kalanowski of the Wilmington Fire Dept. Emails go back and forth and we get a final email stating which two para medics will be there and at what time. For this event the organization said they had a nurse who could handle medical. Now ....don't get me wrong. This just does not cut it. I told these folks that they ok'ed the budget when they hired us and that a nurse is not going to handle an emergency and would just call 911. They did ok the expense and the para medics were at this event. Wouldn't you know it.....a runner goes down at the finish line with an asthma attack. The nurse standing by watched as the para medics went into action. They put on an oxygen mask to help this person breath and she ended up scared but ok. The nurses comment to me, "thank god the para medics were on hand." With 32 years of experience I can say that things can and do go wrong at a road races and for $160 you just can't justify NOT having para medics there. Like my Barb says...."better to be safe than sorry." BTW....this is my
100th blog and counting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

road trip

I love it when folks ask how my weekend was......well....lets say busy.
Here is a quick rundown of how I spent my holiday weekend.
Friday at 4 pm I chalked out route for Saturday's Firecracker 5k. Up Sat. morning at 5:30 to meet at Rockford Park for set up of registration. Race starts at 8:30 am.....awards done by 9:45am .....home posting results and photos by noon. 1pm to my garage to load up for Jimmy's Grill 5k in Dewey. Leave Wilm. at 3:30pm. Arrive in Dewey at 5:30pm. Unload groceries in condo and then off to Dewey Beach Liquors to pick up tee shirts, computer label print outs of pre registered runners, and gift certificates for award winners. On way to do this I chalk out route for Sunday's 5k. At Dewey Beach Liquors we load the 6 boxes of tees in my van and head back to our condo at Spring Lake. We count out pre reg shirts and then place labels on race numbers......have dinner with Barb and then watch some Tour de France. Bedtime at 10 pm. Up at 5:15 and out the door by 6:15. We head back to Dewey and on the way we stop to place mile markers and turn around signs on route. Set up is done by 6:45 am and registration opens......race starts at 8 am and 470 runners take off. At 9:05 Barb starts award presentations and I clean up finish line area and re load my vehicle. 10 am we are hanging out at Jimmy's. 10:30am I drop off check to police for their services and then it is finally time to relax and have a beer. Make that beers. A typical weekend in the life of a race director.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fast times.....

We had some fast times at our 5k on Saturday at our 3rd annual Race for Time 5k.
15 male runners ran under 18 minutes. I received emails asking if the course was short. My answer is NO. It is USATF certified and YES they ran the correct route. In fact Doug White who certified the course stopped by Joe's Crab Shack to check the course to make sure they did run the correct route..... and all was ok. Of all the 5k routes on the Riverfront this may be the fastest. Not many turns and there are many nice long straight a ways. When you get over $2500 in gift certificates on the line folks take notice. Our Michelob Ultra Race to the Finish Line Series is going strong. Our participant numbers are way up from a year ago. With the point system many are coming back each series race to try and improve their age group standings. I did receive a nice email from a runner who was at this race that I would like to share with you:

wayne - just wanted you to know that I love the races on the waterfront. Easy to get to, plenty of parking, fast times. this year it was great to be inside the crab shack after the race. I hope the crab shack and iron Hill realize that it provides me an opportunity to check out their place. the crab shack and Iron hill are on my list of places to go when i am in Wilmington. Feel free to pass this on to the crab shack crew.

Always nice to support a sponsor.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sprint tri at St. Andrews

For the last 22 years I have spent my Father's Day at St. Andrews School in Middletown for our Sprint triathlon. I did miss one year to run in the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska as part of Team in Training. For those not familiar with St. Andrews School it is an exclusive (and expensive) boarding school in Middletown, DE. It is also the site where Robin Williams movie Dead Poet Society was filmed. Back 23 years ago I came up with the idea to stage a triathlon. I thought of St. Andrews because I knew someone who worked there. We got the ok and what a 22 years it has been. The distances are 1/4 mile swim in Noxontown Pond, 16 mile (2-8 mile loops) bike ride and a 3 mile XC run. I like this distance because we get so many first timers and once they do this event they come back year after year. St. Andrews asks us to limit the field to 250 participants which is fine with me and the athletes like the low key approach we take with this event. After 22 years my set up crew have given me notice that they all plan to retire working this event. Thus the rumors that this event would not continue. Let me be the first to tell you.....we received permission from St. Andrews to continue with our event so like they say, "the show will go on." I have a new group that will help with course set up and clean up. One neat story I have to tell you. I got an email from a women who was signed up to do our tri 12 years ago. The doctor told her she could not due due to her pregnancy. So she came back this year and competed with her 12 year old son cool is that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

friendly neighbors

This will be the third weekend in a row that we use the Bancroft Parkway to Gilpin Ave to Williard to Rockford Park route. St. Anthony's, Kid Shelleen's, and Saturday's Miles for Molly. All 5k's. I live on Bancroft Parkway and know many of my neighbors. I always try and warn them that a run walk is coming.
All say, "no problem....we enjoy watching the parade of runners." Thank goodness! At our DE Marathon not only did we use both sides of Bancroft Parkway as part of our route but we made up distance by running a loop in the residential neighborhood of Wawaset Park which connects to Bancroft Pkwky. I received many emails after the marathon. I would like to share with you one paragraph that a marathon runner emailed to me:

"The course was about as scenic as a city marathon can hope for. I never ran the previous course but this years was very nice. I especially liked the river walk, Brandywine Park, and the residential area with the really nice houses. For what it's worth, the last area had the best fan support by far! "

So many emails like this one.....I purchased a thank you sign that i have placed at entrance to neighborhood. It says, "thank you for your support and enthusiasm," the Delaware Marathon. Wilmington shines once again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New race series

I had a nice meeting with representatives of the American Cancer Society on Tuesday. They asked me about the possibility of staging another race series in the month of August as a fundraiser for the ACS. I explained to them that our Seven Sisters of Dewey Beach and my Michelob Ultra Race to the Finish Line Restaurant series have been both very popular with the runners and walkers. Why? Cause runners like to hang out and relax after a race especially if good eats and a beer are available. With this in mind I was able to work with Bob Ashby owner of McGlynn's Pub and the Deer Park for a 3 race series to be staged in the month of August.

Sunday, August 16th at McGlynn's Pub in People's Plaza in Bear, DE
Saturday, August 22nd at The Deer Park in Newark, DE
Saturday, August 29th at McGlynn's Pub in Dover, De

All events start at 8:30 am. All 3 events will feature Michelob Ultra beer. 5 year age groups scoring top 2 and a gift cards from sponsoring restaurants. Come up a thirst......relax and have fun......Support the American Cancer Society.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A special lady......

I had an aniversary of sorts today. Thirty years ago this week I staged the first of now 30 St. Anthony's road races. Hard to believe. Back then the race was a
10k with crowds of 600 runners. One of Delaware's largest road races at the time which would be 1980. What you may not realize is that there just were not that many road races to choose from. In fact I would bet that there were more 10k's (called mini marathons) than there were 5k's. Thus the huge crowds at our 10k I decided to make the move to a 5k when high (90 degree) temps hit one year and we had to cart folks off and pack em in ice. Yes......we no longer get the huge crowds at this event but with 250 entrants this year the St. Anthony's Italian Festival continues on. This year was special as our gal Becky Yencharis joined us once again. She is using a walker now but as she approaches 90 years of age she is still able to get around. Her mind is still sharp and she will tell you that "St.Anthony's is where I started my running career 30 years ago." This year she walked about 1/4 mile with an aid at her side. She was almost in tears as the runners cheered her on as she crossed the finish line. A special moment....a special lady.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The morning after.....

I was reading a good article in my Road Race Management newsletter written by Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray. Basically what he writes about is how many emails he receives after a big event like Boston. Most are congratulations on a job well done but there are many he receives from runners making complaints about certain aspects of their run and the race. With the internet and emails you just can't put off answering these folks. He makes it a point to answer all emails and explain why things were done certain ways. I have to agree with him. I could not keep up with all the emails I received after our Delaware Marathon. Most were positive but some were from irate runners complaining about certain aspects of our event. I spent a good hour and a half race night answering some of these emails and then spent at least 2 hours Monday morning answering more. This continued most of the week. I have to admit.......many of these emails had very good points. I save these emails in a file so we can do better next year. I was surprised how many runners responded to my emails right away thanking me for getting back to them so fast. The way I look at it is the same way that Dave McGillivray does......."if you don't respond and totally ignore the complaints this just adds insult to injury." Thus the morning after headaches.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nemours Gardens

On Sunday we were at the DuPont Hospital for Children to run on the grounds of Nemours Museum and Gardens for the Inaugural Hear We Go 5k. With 205 pre registered runners and walkers I knew we were in for a nice race day crowd. But could success also bring problems. YES. The route that we use on the property of Nemours (which is gated) can not really handle a crowd of over 200. Why? Here are some of the reasons:
1. roads are very narrow
2. walkers and those pushing strollers getting in the way of runners
3. not allowed to use field chalk to mark out course
4. have 30 volunteers on route for a loop and a half course
5. no one allowed on the grounds due to liability insurance with out a race number
We have a biker leading the lead runners on route but this is not enough. Some runners did not hear the volunteer or see the bright yellow signs in the ground that we had posted that said straight first loop.....go right second loop to finish. And the walkers with strollers were taking up the narrow roads making it impossible for the runners to keep pace. We only use this route for one other event. The Ronald McDonald House of DE 5k. The Ron McD 5k committee has already decided that we will not be using this route next year due to these issues. As for Hear We Go 5k. We do plan on using this course next year but will make two major changes:
1. Runners start at 10 am
2. Non competitive walk starts at 10:45 am and only a 2 mile walk.
This will make for a much better event so all those on property can enjoy their run and walk.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Time flies.....

They say, "Time flies when your having fun." I am not sure I can use that line but it is hard to believe that 6 weeks today I had my hip replacement surgery. I went to see my surgeon on Tuesday. They took an x-ray and I got to admit it was pretty cool to see my new hip on the screen. But the best news was when my surgeon (Dr. Steve Dellose) said, "ok wayno....time to get on with your life." "Start hitting golf balls, start going to hot yoga, start walking, but NO running." I went to my first hot yoga class in 7 weeks. I was thrilled with how much I could do. I would say 95% of the exercises I could handle. Of all the exercise I do the one that tires me out the most is walking. I can handle a half hour on the stationary bike or the EFX machine but walking 3 blocks beats me up. I still have a bit of a limp but that will go away in time. The hardest thing for me to do now is rest. Like they at a time. I am thrilled to be back at the races working the chutes setting up the routes and just being me.....the guy with no more pain.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beach weekend

Our first 5k in Bethany took place on Saturday. The weather cooperated and we had a really nice turnout for our inaugural 5k for the JWJ Fdn. The Bethany Police Dept were a pleasure to work with as were the volunteers. Doug White measured out a nice two loop route which was of course fast and flat. On Memorial Day we were back in Dewey for our 7th Rusty Rudder 5k held in Ruddertown. We had 225 pre entries and 315 sign ups race morning. The 540 finisher total was the largest 5k in Seven Sister history. Yes....we ran out of beer but still all had a great time. I always enjoy heading to the beach for my work. At the Rusty Rudder 5k it was like a homecoming for Barb and I. We get to see all our friends who we have not seen since last seasons series. Talking about series......JR Ward who is handling the series updates and I have come up with a point system ranking for age groups. First place in age group gets 10 points, second place 9 points, all the way to 1 point for showing up. This way the faster runners don't always win and this gives the folks who run all the events a better chance to place in overall standings. Most points win. We have also changed our Michelob Ultra Race to the Finish Line Series to point system standings. June 14th at North Beach is our next beach run. The Inaugural Outlet Liquors 5k. Also, a new 5k we have picked up is the Inaugural Greene Turtle Lewes 5k on Sunday, August 23rd. This event is also part of our Michelob Ultra Series. Come thirsty!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Negative splits

One of the beauties of chip timing is getting your splits. At our DE Marathon we had timing mats at the 5 mile mark and the 13.1 mile mark and most runners went over the mats again at the 18 mile mark. Not only is this good for the runners to see how they keep pace but also another way we try and weed out those who either cheated or cut the course by mistake. At Sunday's marathon we had a few runners who ran negative splits. I don't mean a minute or two I mean 15 minutes. When I see that the red flag goes up. Here are two examples:

F35-39 1:47:12 8:11 1:35:23 7:17 3:22:35 7:44 3:22:39
M20-24 2:23:16 10:57 1:52:07 8:34 4:15:22 9:45 4:15:26

I contacted both of these runners and here are their answers:

I got your Email this morning.I ran the 1st half at a slow pace and then the 2nd half I really picked it up felling around 20 or 22 miles I did stop to use the potty bathroom so I may have made a wrong turn but coming out of it but don't remember doing so.I thank you for such a lovely was so well done and the course was lovely.I run a lot of marathon each year and this was such a nice one.thank you.

Yea, I was really tired. After I came out of the woods around mile 21, I took a left and went to the finish. Sorry if I wasn't suppose to do that. I wanted to see the crowd cheer so I still finished the final quarter mile.

Both were dq'ed. I don't get it....but at least they were honest when I asked them if they ran the complete course. I always give folks the benefit of the doubt. If asking why we did not post the 5 mile splits this was just for us to get a sense of pace for all runners heading out on route.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The day after.....

I feel like I ran the marathon.....guess I should not have been on my feet so much on Sunday but just one of those days. A bit sore. All in all I believe things went well considering the new venue, the new two loop route and the addition of the half marathon. The four person relay continues to add excitement to this event. Just have to work on transition area next year. And expect a new route for the relay. Plenty of tail gate parties going on during and after the race which is cool. We just have to tweak a few things for next year. With 3 events going on at the same time it can get a bit hectic. Our volunteers continue to amaze me. Most were with us for at least 5 hours! I would say one comment that was repeated to me by many out of town runners, "I had no idea how beautiful a City Wilmington was till I ran this race." This was one of my goals. Show off our jewel of a city.....Wilmington. I will share with you emails that I receive in my next blog.

Saturday, May 16, 2009 day to go.

Yesterday was spent mostly at Tubman Park getting ready for race packet stuffing. We had 22 volunteers help with this plus another 6 vols working on the start and finish line towers. Today starting at 11 am is race packet pick up. I am heading out to re chalk the route using yellow spray chalk. I am forced to use spray chalk since we are expecting rain today and into tonight with showers Sunday morning. I normally use field chalk but that would wash away with the rain. I always enjoy packet pick up. Most of our work is done and only back up phone calls are to be made. I enjoy talking to the runners as they pick up their race packets. They come from all over the US and all have a story to tell. I always introduce myself as wayne kursh, "race director." The runners are amazed that I am the race director and would take the time to chat with them and answer their questions. That is why I am make your trip to Wilmington as easy and enjoyable as possible. Don't forget to stop by Joe's Crab Shack from 5 to 7 pm for our pasta diner. So far we have 250 reservations. Good luck runners.....I hope you enjoy the new course and your stay in Wilmington.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Two days to go

It is Friday before the marathon. I just picked up the Spalco box truck. Waiting for volunteers to help load up. 2300 tee shirts, signage for course, banners for finish line area, goodie bag items, step ladders, and of course duct tape. Once loaded I head to Tubman Park and leave the truck tillI I return it on Sunday afternoon. Today at Tubman tents are set up, finish line towers are set up, tables and chairs are in place, 20 porta potties are delivered to start finish area, City of Wilmington Show Mobile is put in place, vendor tents put up, dumpster arrives and is now in place. NKS drops off the Michelob Ultra beer truck loaded with 12 kegs of beer and 2000 pint glasses. Grotto Pizza's "BIG RED" will be arriving around noon. At 5 pm volunteers from the YMCA Black Achievers and students from Cecil County Community College will help stuff goodie bags. Grotto Pizza will be served. So much to do ......unreal.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Team effort

Only days now before our Delaware Marathon. Joel and I both agree that so far so good. We just hope for nice dry cool weather. The emails still come in with folks asking to run the event. The check list of to do is getting smaller. The volunteer groups continue to grow. The phone calls continue to be answered. But this is not just the Wayne and Joel show. It is a team effort which makes our Delaware Marathon Running Festival a success. We have 5 water stops on the course. Teams of high school students will work these stops. We have the PCVRC working the course around Bancroft Parkway. We have the Buckley Strider's working the course in Wawaset Park. We have the Trail Dogs working the course around the Riverfront. We have Joe Atz working with his team around the Brandywine River. And we have 55 Wilmington Police Officers working the key intersections of the course. At the finish line and hospitality tent we have more high school teams to pass out medals and refreshments. In fact Mrs. Delaware, Marci McNair will be there to greet you when you finish. Our medical team consists of volunteers from title sponsor Christiana Care. Also on route will be teams of Christiana Care ham radio operators in communication with medical and police in case of emergency. If running we wish you luck. If volunteering I say, "thank you." If looking to volunteer please contact me. I look forward to race day a bit nervous but knowing my teams of volunteers are ready to go. See you all Sunday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


This year at our DE Marathon we are using a new sports drink called Vitalyte (available at New Balance DE in Brandywine Commons). I use the term "new" but this company has been around a long time. Doug White introduced me to this product back in 1977. It was then called Gookinad ERG named after the inventor Bill Gookin, a marathon runner, scientist, and teacher. The ERG stands for Electrolyte Replacement with Glucose. Over the years the name changed to Hydrolyte then to Vitalyte. Back in 1977 when I ran the New York City Marathon I drank a glass of ERG prior to race start then when I finished I drank about 24oz. of the lemon flavor. Wow! What a pick me up. I felt like I just had a IV placed in my arm. I have been a customer ever since. The following year I was in San Diego for the Mission Bay Marathon. I went to the expo and met the owner / inventor Bill Gookin. What a nice guy who invented a simple product that works. How did the DE Marathon come to use Vitalyte? The marketing director called me and asked if we would be interested in using Vitalyte as our sports drink for the marathon. As a huge fan I said, "yes." Plus the product was donated. We will be using the lemon flavor at all water stops on the marathon route. It is not too sweet and has NO after taste. I am sure you will agree....this stuff works! Drink up.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Great idea!

Four years ago I went on a golf trip to Tampa, Florida. The resort we were staying at was also the host of the PODS Golf Championship the week before we arrived. Sitting on the deck of my condo overlooking the golf course I could not help but notice all these POD storage containers placed through out the golf course. I really could not figure out why they were on the course then it hit me.....advertising. Yes...the main sponsor of this golf tournament was PODS. Duhhhh. I checked my voice box later that day and I received a phone message from a friend of mine who was involved with a PODS competitor. PACK RAT (1-800-PACK-RAT). He wanted to know if PACK RAT could display a container at our marathon. I called him back and asked him, "could he place 4 of these containers around the marathon route." He asked why? "Water stops" was my answer. Great advertising for PACK RAT......and perfect storage for our water stops. We could place our 5 gal. bottles of water, tables, cups, and trash containers , plus volunteer tee shirts in a container....give the head volunteer the key.....and WOW....instant self contained water stop. This saved us much stress and volunteer time. RAT PACK would deliver the self contained water stop to each location. I emailed Phil Stewart of Road Race Management newsletter about this great idea....his email back, "your the second race director to use this method of setting up water stops....the other being Dave McGillivray, race director for the Boston Marathon." His final comment...."great race directors think alike." At least I am in good company.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

phone vs emails.....

In the old days prior to email I use to be really good at returning phone calls. I have a voice box on my business line that lets me retrieve my messages anywhere in the world. I am always amazed at the time of day folks would leave me a message.....guess runners out there don't sleep much....or do they think I would answer my phone at 1:45 am? Either way I would always make it a point to return ALL calls. Folks were always saying, "thank you for returning my call." I always got a kick out of that line. Why? Because it is my business to return your call and answer your questions. Now....lets fast forward to today's world. Cell phones have taken over the land lines and emails have become one of the best ways to communicate. (I also text message to my friends). I must admit.....I don't return phone calls as fast asI use to since I only check my voice messages once or twice a day. But answering emails is a way of life for me. I use the Apple i-phone to check my emails on a daily basis when out of my office and to surf the web. I just love being able to get back to folks with answers to their questions. Now I get the quote on my email response, "thank you so very much for responding so fast to my question." This is the way I run my business. If you have questions.....I have answers. So....if you really want a quick response from me send me an email......the returned phone calls come later in the day.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What is your excuse?

Just thought I'd share a few of the emails I received from those looking to get into our DE Marathon:

This is my sad story.
I couldn't believe it but - when I checked my files - I found that, I had neglected to register, and now registration is closed
I hope that, in these circumstances, you might forgive my memory lapse and allow me to register.

Is there any way I can get registered for the Marathon? My daughter and I were going to go to the race together. We have already made our hotel reservation. She is running the half and I was going to run the marathon. When I tried to sign up about two weeks ago I had trouble with the website. I didn’t know if it was my home computer or just something I was doing wrong. I meant to try registering on my work computer but obviously forgot. At 66 years old, I guess you call that a senior moment.My wife and I had been expecting our first child (due 4/29) and I wanted to make sure everything was good before I signed up (which I was hoping I could do by 5/10). Anyway, our baby girl was born this past Wednesday, I ran my last 20 mile run yesterday, got permission from my wife to run the race, and was set to sign up this morning. If there is any way you can allow me to participate in the race, I would be very, very appreciative -

OK, I screwed up--I have an airplane ticket, but your marathon's full.

I'm part of a running club that is doing Delaware I had to go to Ireland to see my mom and when I came back it has being filled up ,my group are a little upset with me ,let me know if there is any possibility of getting in if not I understand

I just got back from Boston earlier in the week and had planned on doing the marathon and just went on to register and noticed the marathon was full.

I was planning on running the marathon on May 17th. However, I needed to postpone registering because I am graduating from college the day before and was unsure of travel plans. I had finally decided that I would be able to get to Delaware to race on the 17th, but with my horrible luck, the marathons apparently sold out. Is there ANY possible way I can still register?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sold Out!

We only handle two events that we cap participants. One is my DE Marathon and the other my Sprint Tri at St. Andrews School. To be honest with you I really do not like to cap events but in both these cases we have to due to the nature of the routes and locations. We sold out our De Marathon last week with the 600 runners. My tri sold out with 250 participants. When I staged the first DE Marathon back in 2004 we did not have a cap on participants and we even advertised race morning sign ups. What a mistake. Little did I know that so many would enter a 26.2 mile race on event day. With this huge day of race registration we ran out of tee shirts, finisher medals, and refreshments. When we cap an event it is to make sure ALL who register are treated fairly and we have adequate supplies i.e, food, water, tees, cups, medals etc. I have received so many requests asking to join the marathon this year. All have excuses and all have been emailed the same answer. "I will place you on our wait list." I understand that we will have NO shows race day. Hopefully I will be able to get all these folks in our marathon. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Very cool.

It is Sunday morning and I sit in my recliner watching the weather channel. I get a text message from my operations director Joel Schiller that he is in my neighborhood leading the group of bikers (thank you Brandywine Cyclery) who will be leading the marathon, half marathon and relay teams on May 17th. They are doing this for a couple reasons. get a good look at the route and two see how traffic is on a Sunday morning. I went outside and watched the pack leave Wawaset Park and head down Bancroft Pkwy to 9th Street. They would do the Union Street / Lilttle Italy loop and then head back to Bancroft Pkwy where I live. Barb and I went outside to wait. I got to tell you....even on a test trial like this I was really excited to see the group of bikers coming down Bancroft. Joel was in his car leading the way with his flashers on. It would be neat to have a clock on the lead vehicle to let spectators know what the running time is so this is something we can work on. It was a cool moment. All the planning, all the logistics, all coming together. In a small way this reminded me of when I would head up to Boston to watch the Boston Marathon. I use to watch at a friends house on Heartbreak Hill. As the leaders approached first came the police on motorcycles, then the press truck, then folks on bikes, then here come the runners. Talk about excitement....the parade of runners just kept everyone cheering. I would hope that those is the local neighborhoods will come out and support the runners. We have done a lit drop to all homes on the route letting them know about the race and time schedule. This is going to be cool.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Days

Tonight is a special occasion for Barb and I. Twenty years ago we staged the Inaugural Ronald McDonald House of DE 5k. This 5k took place during the construction of the Ron McD House. The start and finish was on Rockland Road where the House now stands. Barb was on the first Ronald McD board and she contacted me about staging a 5k as a fundraiser for the house. Little did I know that that conversation would eventually change my life. Barb kept calling and calling and soon enough I realized that she was a special lady. I remember telling a good friend of mine, "if I don't marry this women I am out of my mind." So on the opening night of the Ronald House of Delaware I asked Barb to marry me. That was June 7th 1991. On November 2nd we got married in the living room of the Ronald House and the rest is history. We picked that date because Penn State was playing an away game in football. Tonight marks the 20th Anniversary of our first 5k fundraiser. We both use to volunteer every Tuesday night at the house and to this day we stay involved. This will be the first year I will miss the race due to my surgery. Beside my Barbie I believe Ralph McKinney will mark his 20th consecutive Ron McD 5k. This years 5k is back on the grounds of the duPont Hospital for Children. For those running and walking tonight just a note that you folks really do make a difference. Barb and I thank you for your support.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What a weekend......

First of all i just want to thank everyone for the cards, emails, and phone calls. I was humbled by all the kindness. I arrived at Wilm. Hospital at 6:30 am on Friday. Went into surgery at 9 am and was in my hospital room by 10 am. I was walking the hallways later that day with a walker. Friday night was uneventful. I was on meds so did not feel much pain. Sat. I had two physical therapy sessions. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. Plus I took a couple loops around the hall using my walker. Sat. pm at around 6pm I was in agony. I guess the physical therapy was a bit much but by midnight and more meds I was able to relax and get some sleep. Sunday morning I felt really good. Went to physical therapy and took my walk around the hallway. My doctors assistant came in and checked up on me. He took my bandage off and asked if I would like to head home. "YES!" Thank you very much. So after lunch and physical therapy I used a walker to get from front door of hospital to Barb picking me up in our SUV. I once again used the walker to enter my house and then crashed on my recliner in my living room. That was pretty much the last of the walker. I switched to a cane and was able to walk with no real issues. I slept in my recliner Sunday and Monday nights. Kind of like sleeping in first class section on an overseas flight. Slept pretty good. Monday I was able to take a shower and shave. Wow....did that feel good. With taking meds you have a tendency to get constipated. I had not pooped since Friday morning. Tues. morning was a breakthrough......pooped twice, showered, shaved and feel so much better. Tomorrow I start physical therapy with Elite PT. Rudy and Hash will beat me up but that is what I expect. I will most likely take off the next couple weeks and continue to delegate my events to my staff. My doctor told me I was bone on bone with major arthritis. And now I am the titanium man! See you all soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


April 15th.....we all know the to get those taxes in the mail. If late Uncle Sam will send you a notice that you have been penalized and out comes the check book one more time. Funny....I usually don't get that many voice messages on my work phone. But yesterday I had 19 messages. Not because folks were asking for tax help but many were looking to beat the pre race deadline for our Think First 5k and also for our Delaware marathon. I returned all calls and did my best to accommodate their requests. Just human nature to wait till the last minute not only for signing up for events but paying your taxes too. I would guess we received close to 200 entries for our marathon Monday and Tues. Many relay teams came in as did the half and marathon entries. I could write more but I have to get to my accountants office to pick up my taxes. Deadline know what i mean. Wish me hip replacement surgery is on Friday. I will be the titanium man!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


What a crappy day outside (Saturday). Rain and cold. Not great weather to stage a 5k but off to Conrad School of Science to time and manage their annual 5k. 66 finishers.....15 no shows........and who knows how many planned to join us but decided to sleep in due to the weather. I was fortunate to have some good help today. Thank you volunteers. I came home ....entered the results in my software and posted on my website. Photos were next....all done. So now what? Barb is visiting her parents in State College. Masters golf is on but not till 4pm. So whats a guy to do? Grab a beer and start surfing the tube.....that's what. I'm in hi def channels and find that the 2008 Ironman from Kona is on. Wow! Talk about being inspired! 2.4 mile swim, 116 mile bike and 26.2 marathon run. Most don't realize that for many the marathon takes place in the middle of the day and we are talking Hawaii. Temps in the mid 80's. The show highlights some of the participants. A navy seal, a cancer survivor, a young guy with one leg, a 72 year old women finishing her 17th consecutive Ironman. The women's winner who broke the marathon record by over a minute something like 2:58. The men's winner who ran the marathon in 2:45. So many stories to tell. You sit there and say to yourself, "wow.... I am impressed." The one line that stands out is the athlete who lost his leg at 8 years of age in a farming accident. He said, "loosing my leg gave me other opportunities." Talk about positive attitude. There is something to learn here. Just take a minute to think about it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Head's up ladies

Just want to share an email .....

Last week, a friend of a friend was jogging (alone) near Rockford very early in the morning and realized she was being followed by a man in a small pick up truck. He was on Del Ave and followed her block for block as she was running up Willard toward the park. By the time she got to Greenhill, she said her instincts kicked in and she turned onto Greenhill instead of heading straight (toward Red Oak/the park) and she sprinted all the way home. When she was running on Greenhill, she noticed that the man had assumed she was going to run up to Red Oak - he had pulled over and was out of his car waiting for her. She was so scared she couldn't get her cell phone out to call 911 so she sprinted right to her house and then called the police later.We sent an email out to as many people we could think of who run... but then today, he followed another friend/colleague. She was in the same exact vicinity - she was out at 5:30am, doesn't run with headphones and so heard his car and noticed she was being followed. She started sprinting and zig zagged a bit down different streets - at one point, he was driving down Bancroft Parkway chasing her, going the wrong way on the street! She managed to dart down a different street and get to her house w/out him seeing her. Then her boyfriend hopped in his car to go and try to find the guy. Luckily, along the way, they saw a police car and stopped it - gave the full report to the officers right then and there - and they caught the guy right on the 1900 block of DE Ave (I think it's near Del Ave and Union).Apparently he was wearing a blue stocking on his head - and when he was pulled over he had a knife on the passenger seat and a bag of stockings on the floor. So scary.He's in custody now - but not sure if they can detain him, so chances are he'll be back out again at some point so BE CAREFUL.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Frozen Peas

Some weekend. Three events Saturday, two on Sunday. I am crushed. I sit here Sunday afternoon in my recliner watching golf on t.v. drinking a glass of wine with a frozen bag of peas on my left hip. For those of you who saw me this weekend....i was not a pretty site. At the Sallies Blue Gold 5k I sat down on the ground to help score the race and could not get up.....a Sallies football player lifted me up back on my feet.....I was humbled. April 17th can't get here soon enough. I am getting my left hip replaced. I will be the titanium man! Can't walk, can't play golf, can't do yoga, and can't sit at my desk. They say rehab will take 4 to 8 weeks. Bring it on! I have my teams ready to handle my events. I am so very fortunate to have fabulous help I can count on. Event results may not be posted in a timely fashion while I rehab but they will be posted as soon as i can get up to my office on the second floor. I will be at Wilm. Hospital Friday till Sunday. Then home where I plan on sleeping in my recliner on the first floor till I can handle steps. I remember when I had ACL surgery. I really had no pain prior to surgery but rehab was brutal. With this hip injury the pain is so bad I can't sleep at night. I just shake my head and laugh. It is the only way to deal with what I am going through. Will I be able to run again....yes. But only time will tell. Like the Terminator says......"I'll be back."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Now..that's more like it!

At our Snowball 5 mile run held the first Sunday in March we used ten year age groups scoring top 3 for both male and females. I use these age group categories:
13 under, 14-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 over

This would add up to 8 age groups for a total award count of 48 prizes. The overall male and female winners are excluded from age group results. Thus adding two more awards for total of 50 prizes. Don't forget the walkers. So lets add another 6 prizes for total of 56 awards. Doug White ran in the Snowball run and said we should consider going with 5 year age categories scoring top 2. Let's do the math. Age groups would be as follows:
13 under, 14-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+

This would add up to 13 age groups for a total award count of 52 awards. Let's add overall male and female and top 3 male female walkers and prize structure goes to 60 awards. Which is only 4 more than the ten year spread. I like this idea. The math works and runners will be able to compete with folks closer to their own age. This should work at most of our events that draw 100 or more runners. We are using the 5 year age groups for our Michelob Ultra Race to the Finish Restaurant Series. We will start posting series results after the Buckley's 5k on April 19th. So....if you have a idea that makes sense go ahead and shoot me an email....I'm all ears and that is the truth.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Wilmington Riverfront

We have been so very fortunate to have our Wilmington Riverfront take shape in such a short period of time. About 12 years ago I heard that the City of Wilmington / State of Delaware had plans to renovate this section of Wilmington. I knew about the plans since our family business, Bell Supply, was located on the corner where the new Barclay's Bank now stands. The State of Delaware paid a handsome price for the Bell Supply property and also paid Bell's money to move so they could begin to develop the area. In the end all worked out well. (Bell's is now located across from Delaware Park in Stanton). I use to handle a 5k 10k on the Baltimore Inner Harbor and was so impressed with how Baltimore was able to make it such a wonderful tourist destination. I was hoping the Wilmington Riverfront would do the same thing. I had a meeting yesterday with a new group planning to stage a walk on the Riverfront. The organization is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and they stage other walks in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill. The executive director who I met with was from Cherry Hill and had never been to Wilmington's Riverfront. We met at Dravo Plaza and chatted about set up and the plans for this event. We then drove the route so she would get a better idea of the area, where volunteers and police would be needed, and to see where water stops would be located. After riding the course I asked her if she had any further questions. Her only comment was, "I can' believe how beautiful this waterfront is.....I was not expecting this at all." She could not wait to go back to her office to let her staff and committee members know how impressed she was. That is the beauty of us staging running and walking events on our riverfront. We are able to attract many folks who have never been there before and now that that have they all want to come back. And that is a win win situation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun times

This past Saturday we staged a 5k at McGlynn's Pub in Bear, Delaware. The 5k was in memory of Jane Volk who lost her fight with multiple myeloma. 310 registered with 298 finishers made for a very successful event. Doug White was able to measure out and certify a new 5k route in the residential neighborhoods. Runners were commenting that this route is "one of the fastest 5k's in the state." All refreshments were donated by local merchants including 300 hot dogs and rolls plus volunteers baked muffins and cookies to go along with the pasta salads, soft pretzels, and fruit. Michelbob Ultra was provided as part of our Race to the Finish Line Restaurant Series. Thank you to Tom and Renee Ridenour who spear headed this fundraiser. And special thank you to Bob Ashby and the staff at McGlynn's.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's a dogs world

I am a dog lover. My first dog when a kid was a cocker spaniel named Caesar. When i went to collegeI had the most laid back Irish setter I named Curry. When I started my business I would take him to work with me and he would sleep all day. Before and after work I would make sure he got in some exercise usually running around Brandywine Creek State Park. Those were the days before you had to have your dog on a leash. My dad had an English Bulldog named George. When Curry and George got together it was pure fun to watch. After the CR half Sunday, I drove out to Rockford Park to pick up my traffic cones and mile markers. You could not help but see all the folks with their dogs running around the dogie park. I always get a kick out of seeing how much folks look like their dogs. Anyway....why the blog on dogs? Seems like dog lovers also like to walk miles with their four legged friends. I get many emails and phone calls asking if they can walk one of our 5k's with their puppy. My answer, "NO, we can not allow you to walk with your dog due to insurance liability." Why is this they ask? Two examples of what can happen . CR half 4 years ago. Runner shows up with 2 boarder collies NOT on leash. I told this person NO dogs allowed. He did not listen. A the one mile mark one of these dogs cut in front of the lead pack and a runner went down. This person who did not listen was dq'ed from results and is banned from CR race and ALL r2r races. Another incident. Thanksgiving Day Run Walk for MS 6 or 7 years ago. 1000 folks at start. One person has dog on leash. "NO dogs"I said. The person said, "Oh, I will just start in the back of the pack." The cannon goes off ....the dog lunges forward scared from the noise of the cannon and a runner trips over the leash and breaks her leg. Case closed! Folks.....please leave Fido at home for the safety of all others.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Medal of honor

At our 46th Citizen's Bank Caesar Rodney Half marathon held Sunday we had a fabulous turnout on a perfect day to run. 1425 finishers in the half marathon and another 151 in the 5k. These numbers do not include the NO shows. All went well on route. Some intersections got a bit busy with runners coming and going and I am sure I will get a phone call or two about this issue. Water stops worked out well and our volunteers did an outstanding job. 17 of my course volunteers received a FREE 5k pre entry into any races2run 5k in 2009 for their help. One issue that came up at the end of the day. "Why did you run out of finisher medals?" That is something that was not meant to happen. We ordered 1200 medals 4 months prior to race day. Our contact at Citizens Bank (our title sponsor) designed, ordered and paid for these medals. So that means that 225 folks were shut out. Why? Couple reasons. One.....our contact at Citizens Bank retired a month prior to race day and two once we realized we were going to have more runners than finisher medals we tried to reorder but it would have taken 5 weeks to have them in hand. I had a few folks at the race ask me if they would receive medals in the mail and as far as i know the American Lung Assoc. is going to reorder. What would have happened if we limited the field to 1200? We would not have had this problem but it is not something we want to consider since this road race is a major fundraiser for ALA. We made a mistake and I am the first to apologize.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time flies

I seem to be on this instant oatmeal kick.....every morning i micro wave a bowl of Cinnamon raisin takes 2 minutes to cook. If i sit there and wait two minutes seems like a lifetime. But if i do something useful like doing my laundry the two minutes goes by really fast. This morning I went to my one hour standing stationary yoga class at Empowered Yoga on Penna. Ave. Johnny Gillespie was our instructor. He would explain each pose and work with you to make sure you got it right. You pay attention to what he has to say since he is the instructor. After one hour and class was done I leaned over to the lady next to me and said, "is it me.....or did this hour just fly by?" She agreed.....we were just so into what we were doing that time did really fly by. This Sunday I will be leading the masses at our 46th Citizen's Bank Caesar Rodney Half Marathon. For those of you who are running I wish you all the best....for those "newbies" you know "first timers" just enjoy the day. When the cannon goes off all nervous energy is put onto the back burner. With 1500 runners you will have plenty of company. And I promise....once you head up Market Street hill and cross the finish line you too will say to your self....."wow....i did it.....13 miles went by so fast." Yes....time really does fly by when having fun.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Putting out fires

I always have a plan when organizing a road race. But things happen. An example of this was our 10th Kelly's Logan House 5k held Saturday. On Thursday morning prior to race day I read in the News Journal about a funeral to be held at 10am Saturday at St. Ann's Church. This church is on our race route. I called the funeral director and he stated that they would be gone by noon and yes....a huge crowd was expected. The Logan House 5k was to start at 11 am. I contacted the Wilm. Police Dept. to see if we could use the old Logan House route that uses Kentmere Parkway thus avoiding the traffic of the funeral. To run on Kentmere Pkwy is frowned upon by some residents in the surrounding area and i did not have permits in place for this route. Due to the funeral I was able to get the ok from the City and we were able to change routes at the last minute. Later that same day I headed to a meeting on the Wilmington Riverfront. To my surprise the old Madison Street was blocked off with barricades. This is the route we use for our Citizen's Bank Caesar Rodney Half marathon to be held next Sunday. I called my contact at Riverfront Development Corp. and asked him what was going on? He stated that the road was going to be torn up and would no longer be used for traffic. Future plans call for this area to be developed. He apologized for not letting me know earlier since he too just found out about this construction project. The RDC (Riverfront Development Corp) said work would begin on Monday, March 16th. They set up a meeting which i attended today (Monday). I met with the construction crews and went over the plans. They gave us the ok to run our certified route for the half marathon. Construction equipment will line one lane of the road and runners will use the other lane for the race. They gave me the key to unlock the gate race morning and construction crews will sweep the road clean Friday prior to race day. Expect a new CR route in 2010. Thank you! No wonder I have no hair.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meetings today

I got to tell really is good to be home. But this snow has got to go. Our season kicks into high gear Saturday with our 10th Kelly's Logan House 5k and Sunday's JCC Snowball 5 miler. Both events start at 11 am. That way you can sleep in and hopefully the weather warms up. I had three meetings today. At 1:45 I met with Sue DeNardo of the American Lung Association to go over details of this years Caesar Rodney Half Marathon. We are over 1200 registered so far with over a week to go. We have really cool finisher medals this year. Water stops at start finish and 6 stops on route. All we need is a nice weather day and we could have a record crowd. At 3 pm I met with Kelly's Logan House manager Drew Davis. He informed me that he will have a huge tent on the patio set up this Thursday for us to use for registration. The tent is actually for St. Patrick's Day but he was able to have them set up a week early at no extra charge. Tee shirts will be forest green this year. This is the first of many Michelob Ultra "Race to the Finish" series I am handling. Soft pretzels, pizza, bananas, apples, and other goodies including Michelob Ultra will be served. Overall male and female winners, male female master winners, plus overall walk winners win $25 gift certificates to the Logan House. We are over 200 pre registered at this time. If weather holds up I expect 500 finishers. At 4 pm I met with Delaware Marathon operations director Joel Schiller. He gave me a handful of DE Marathon posters to distribute around the City of Wilmington. More meetings this week. I could not be happier.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wall of Shame

On my last day of vacation in Ft. Myers, Fla. I went to the Twins -Yankees spring training game. I called the box office two weeks prior to purchase a ticket to the game. I was told that this game was totally sold out. OK.....I decided to go to the game and take my chance purchasing a ticket from a scalper. I was able to find a ticket ($20) 12 rows from the field between home plate and first base. Great seats. I sat down next to a guy wearing a Yankee tee shirt. Don't get me wrong but I am not a Yankee fan. He started to chat with me and I asked him how he got his ticket since the game was sold out. He would not answer my question and rattled on about the Ranger hockey game the night before. Ten minutes later two guys enter our row and find this guy sitting in one of their seats. He apologized and jumped over the row of seats in front of us and sat down in another unused seat. Five minutes later he had to move again since that person showed up. On and on it goes. It kind of reminds me of those who show up at registration and swear they sent in their race application with check. I give them the benefit of the doubt and have them fill out a day of race form. We write CHECK IN THE MAIL on the entry. We also get a phone number and address. I would say that 9 out of 10 times we do get the race entry in the mail. But every once in a while I have to call or write to these folks to get paid. Some do not return my calls while others have given me disconnected phone numbers. If I listed their names I would call it the "Wall of Shame." I guess it just bothers me that some folks have to lie. If you have difficulty paying an entry fee just see me at registration. We do our best to work with you to allow you to run in our events.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Don't Assume.....

I enjoy writing my blog and I also enjoy the comments that I receive. My latest blog titled "up and up" had many responses. Some online and many emailed directly to me. I would ask those who respond not to ASSUME you know all the answers. Lets start with entry fees.....I DO NOT set the entry fees for the organizations that hire us. I only SUGGEST what they should charge for their 5k's. When talking about routes you can not assume that we run the same routes all the time. We try not to reinvent the wheel due to permiting and costs. We have multiple routes at Rockford Park and usually try and run the flat route. We have numerous routes on the Riverfront and try to run either Dravo Plaza route or Overlook Pavilion route which are both fast and flat and usatf certified. What you may or may not realize is that there is a City of Wilm. ordinance that does NOT allow us to run on Kentmere Parkway. We were able to Grandfather in our oldest events. The CR Half, Icicle Run and Run walk for MS. When talking about groups that take over events such as Miles for Molly I was contacted by them to get this race organized for Childrens Beach House in Lewes, DE. I suggested Dead Presidents as host and set up a new route for this 5k starting and finishing at Dead Presidents. Miles for Molly is a great event with a fabulous organization behind it. The Logan House 5k is another example of folks assuming that this race is great because of the organization behind it. Let me clue you in....Parkinson Fdn. the beneficiary provides NO help for this event. They are the beneficiary. My wife and i recruit vols (some paid) and we handle all aspects of this 5k from tee shirts to sponsors to awards to permits to management and timing. As for Mimi's 5k the organization is once again fabulous....They hire us to time and manage this 5k for DE Hospice. We run the same route that all other races run from the Overlook Pavilion. We only use Harry's for registration. I always say that we are only as good as the folks that hire us. So please do not assume you have all the answers. You may have some but do not know what goes on behind the scenes. Feel free to email me with any questions or concerns you may have.