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.