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.