Monday, March 29, 2010

Series of races

About 20 years ago I staged a challenge to runners. Run the following events and you win an award. One mile, 5k, 5 miler, 10k, 15k, ten miler, 20k, half marathon and to finish the series a marathon. All these events were in Delaware. I thought I would have maybe 6 people who would complete the series. I had 34! Pretty impressive. Today, I organize a handful of series events which take place in our area. The Seven Sisters Two Brothers Series in Dewey. The Michelob Ultra Race to the Finish Line series where all you have to do is finish 6 of 12 events (the 6 pack). The Triple Crown Half Marathon Series (CR Half, LDAF Half, DE Marathon Half), the 26.2 mile series where you have to run a half marathon, a ten miler, and a 5k to see how fast you run 26.2 miles. And now we are working on a 10k series for the Fall. The E-Racing the Blues 10k, the Turkey Trot 10k, and the Run Walk 10k for MS on Thanksgiving Day. I hope you enjoy these series events.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Caesar Rodney Half 50th Anniversary

In three years we will be celebrating or should i say running the 50th Anniversary of the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon. So what should we do to make this race a special occasion? Many of you who have run the old course (including me) say, "lets go back to the old course." That would be pretty cool IF we could get permission. A couple years ago I made a phone call to my contacts at Del Dot. I asked them if we could go back to the old course for our 50th anniversary. They commented, "we would like you to continue to use the new route." So they did not say NO....they just said "use the new route". I believe that with enough support we could use the old route IF we could:
1. get sponsors to pay for certification of new route
2. start race at 7:30 am so not to interfere with church traffic
3. find sponsors to help pay for Delaware State Police needed outside City of Wilm. limits.
So there you have it. Our CR committee will be meeting to discuss the future of the CR half and putting game plans in place. Your comments are welcome.

Monday, March 22, 2010

But my GPS says......

Sunday's Citizen's Bank Caesar Rodney Half Marathon / 5k brought record crowds to downtown Wilmington. At the start it was 54 degrees with sunshine. With 1500 finishers in the half and another 208 in the 5k this years CR was our largest ever. A bit surprising with the winter weather we had here in Delaware. How do you run outside with 56" of snow on the ground? On the Friday afternoon before race day I rode the route with Jon Clifton. Jon was with me to chalk out the course since I am still recovering from hip replacement surgery. I had with me Doug White's USATF certification papers #DE07014LMB.
Doug marks the start, finish, and mile marks with white paint. Each mark has a description of where each marking is located. An example is 13' south of telephone pole 22856-2467 which includes a drawing of this location. When chalking out a route I always carry a fresh can of white spray paint. Why? So i can re mark all of the markings from what Doug has done. This makes it much easier to find year after year. The day after the race I received an email from a runner asking me if the course is certified. I emailed back "yes" and provided the certification number. He replied, "my GPS watch says the route was 13.3 miles." I called Doug White who ran in the race and asked him about this. His comment was, "if the GPS watch is so exact why do they use a Jones counter to certify race routes." Doug stated that we ran the exact route and his splits were right on. As race director I am a stickler for accuracy. 2/10 of a mile off is a huge amount of distance and is something I can't believe is true. For those of you wearing GPS watches.......have you had issues with routes that advertise certified only to find them not accurate according to your GPS? Just curious.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feel like an astronaut

It has been two weeks since my hip replacement surgery and rehab is going great. I have been doing most of my rehab using the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill at Elite Physical Therapy located at the JCC on Garden of Eden Rd. Jimmy Hashimoto (Hash) is my p.t. and he has introduced me to this latest rehab technology. This AlterG treadmill has allowed me to walk for 35 minutes pain free at 70% of my body weight. Want to feel like an astronaut? Drop it down to 20% of your weight and you feel like you are on a moon bounce. The AlterG Anti Gravity Treadmill gives you the opportunity to rehab from surgery or train through injury without pain. AlterG's unique unweighting technology reduces the impact of walking or running while the body goes through the normal healing process. I know for a fact that I am way ahead of my rehab from my left hip replacement. Who knows.....i may be walking in my 5k's sooner than i thought.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting ready.....

This Sunday we will have close to 1800 folks running around our City of Wilmington as participants in our 47th Caesar Rodney Half Marathon. As part of my duty as race director I make sure the roads are clear of downed tree limbs and that the pot holes are fixed. I also notify the local residents to let them know that we will be running in their neighborhoods. Wednesday is pot hole day. Sgt. Robert Transue of our Wilm. Police Dept. rode the course yesterday and took notes on where pot holes needed to be fixed. The City of Wilm. will be out in full force Wed. to fill these holes. Due to the winter weather this year.....there are many to be filled. The other item is letting folks in the Rockford Park area know we will be running in their neighborhoods. Tomorrow I will post my yellow signs at three points near Rockford Park announcing the race and the times we will be in the area. On Friday the City of Wilmington will do what is called a reverse 911 call to all residents in certain zip codes that will be affected by the road race letting them know about the half marathon. Of course not all pay attention to signs and voice messages but we are trying our best to reach out to these folks. For those of you running your step and watch out for local traffic. Good luck.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Should the rules rule?

This was the title of an article I was reading in the latest issue of Road Race Management. The article was about the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon held in Oct. of 2009. It seems that one of the winners was aided by a person in a vehicle giving her a water bottle that was not from an official water station. Another incident was the second place female overall wearing an i-pod during the last portion of the race. Both women were disqualified and were not awarded prize money. Both women did not argue about each incident but the issue here is understanding and interpretation of the rules and how those rules should be enforced. So....should all middle of the pack runners be dq'ed since they had friends run the last half of the marathon with them or a family member sets up their own water stop? USATF rules seem to effect the elite athletes not the middle of the packers. These two women were at least a half hour behind the men's winner. They did not think that they were "elite" athletes but due to the weak field they found themselves leading the marathon. As a race director for the DE Marathon I would find it very difficult to dq them. If the women winner of our DE Marathon wins in 3:10 I would not consider her an elite athlete. A good time but not an elite time. Both ladies learned the hard way. But just what does elite actually mean?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Babysitting duty?

At so many of our events I see couples with their children. One parent runs and the other watches the children. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to have a baby sitter at some events so both parents could participate? This is something I have been working on for 2010. We may give it a try at the following events where we will have certified baby sitters looking after your kids. Buckley's, Teal Ribbon, DE Marathon, Rusty Rudder, Sprint tri at St Andrew's. This group plans to charge $5/hr. They will have a canopy tent that they can keep kids under & they are also going to make a list of stuff they will bring with them. The plan is to make up a sign up sheet to check kids in/out. Also, for the big races like DE Marathon, they would like people to sign up in advance for the babysitting. If it is a big race with lots of people they don't want to get overwhelmed with kids so they will bring one or two other people with them to help out IF there's that much interest in it. Is this something you would consider paying for?

Monday, March 8, 2010

33 years and counting.....

Opening day at the JCC Snowball yesterday and I was at the Wilmington Hospital getting ready to bust out with my new right hip. The surgery went really well and I am now home and can't wait to start rehab at Elite PT on Wednesday. They say second time around is much easier. I hope so. As I sat in my room and looked at the clock hit 11 am I was only thinking about my crew at the Snowball 5 miler. I only wished I could have been there. Sunday also marked my 33rd year of being in business for myself. I can't even begin to count the number of races I have staged in all those years. My running days are now over. I have to throw in the towel. I hope to start walking some of the 5k's down the road. I am so impressed with the number of runners who come out week in and week out to partake in our events. It is you who help raise funds for so many charities and I do know they are thank full. I hope to be at the Kelly's Logan House 5k on Sunday. I will be the one with the cane.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Opening day

Finally....March is here and so are the road races. Starting Sunday with the JCC Snowball 5 miler now in its 27th year. This is the only 5 mile race we time and manage. The JCC is a wonderful place to stage this race. Inside registration, plenty of parking, showers and lockers (bring lock). We use to stage this event in February but if it snowed prior to race day the residential roads were never plowed and it made for slippery conditions. One year the USATF Grand Prix Series used the 5miler as part of their series but the roads were ice covered and I had to postpone the event. Some runners went out and tried to run the route but they too gave up due to the ice. The following week one of my favorite races takes place at the Logan House. The 11th John D. Kelly Logan House 5k for National Parkinson Fdn. With a noon start this race is a local favorite too. The Kelly Family are on hand to greet all the runners and walkers. Like Michael Kelly says at the start each year, "have fun and see you back at the Logan House so we can trash the place." The following week in the Grand Daddy of them all....the 47th Citizen's Bank Caesar Rodney Half Marathon at Rodney Square. Delaware's oldest road race continues to draw a crowd. We are lucky to have such great sponsors for this event. Citizen's Bank, Delaware Running Co., PSCI, Blue Cross Blue Shield,
New Castle Associates in Podiatry are just a few. I look forward to seeing everyone at the races.