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.