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 ......it 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 ya.....it 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.