Tuesday, April 27, 2010

All charged up.....

I have a routine that i go through when getting all my equipment ready for an event. One that needs plenty of electrical outlets. Lets see....have to charge up my digital display clock. Next I plug in my time machine (times and prints out record of times). Next I charge up the battery for my Nikon camera. Next comes the PA system with hand help microphone. This baby weighs a ton. All battery but no need to find a power outlet since it is wireless. Now only one more and that is a battery back up system by Black and Decker....whew.....5 outlets in all. I am looking forward to the day when i can lease a battery powered van to haul my equipment to events. And that may be in the near future. I wish Delmarva Power would sponsor some events. I sure do pay them enough for electricity

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

House that Love Built

On Saturday we are staging the 21st Ronald McDonald House of DE 5k. This event is so special for my wife Barbie and I. This is how we met 20 years ago and where we got married 19 years ago. FBarb was on the very first board of the House and we have been involved with the House ever since. We donate all of our services year in and year out and this year my chip timing team will be there to chip time the race and they too will be donating their time to the House that Love Built. The only expense for this race are the tee shirts, permit, and police. Everything else is donated. Last year our goal was to raise $20,000 for the 20th anniversary of the house. We raised over $20,000! Folks are asking us why we moved the race from the ground of Nemours? Simple. We just out grew the facility. At this time we have close to 400 runners and walkers registered to run on the Riverfront. The Big Fish Grill is our host and we are thrilled to have them support this event. For those not familiar with the grounds of Nemours the route is a two loop course on a narrow road. I would lead the race in my van but when coming up on the second loop it was impossible for me to get by safely due to all the walkers who participate. With the riverfront route we now have plenty of parking and a nice flat route that is usatf certified and spectator friendly. Merchandise prizes to division winners and Michelob Ultra waiting for you at the finish line. Can't beat that!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Good, the bad, the ugly....

I guess the good news is that our 7th CCHS Delaware Half Marathon and 4 person relay have sold out. I would guess that the marathon will sell out next week. The bad news is that many who waited have been shut out. And the ugly......well the ugly are the phone calls and emails i get letting me know how disappointed they are and that we did not promote the deadlines when we were close to selling out. HELLO! We had from the git go deadlines posted. IF we did not sell out early. We did post on the marathon website daily updates and notices on the updates page what the number of participants were for each event. So why the 2000 cap you ask. Because this is what we can handle using Tubman Garrett Park and our two loop route. We will look closely at this number and if possible up the number of participants next year. So as race director my comment to you who waited...."I hope you can join us next year." Or better yet....join us as a volunteer. You just may enjoy helping out.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

dinner or not......

This May 16th will be our 7th Delaware Marathon. We expect to sell out in the next two weeks. Pretty cool. But for the first year we will not be hosting a pasta dinner the night before the marathon. Why? Simple. We are just fed up with how poorly these pasta dinners have gone over the years. I believe it was year one or two we staged the pasta dinner at Catherine Rooney's on DE Ave. They did a great job BUT we could not accommodate all who wanted to have dinner thus long lines and frustrated runners. Another year ING Direct was a sponsor and they wanted to host the pasta dinner at their DE Ave Headquarters. Nice idea but they hired a caterer and it was a disaster. Long lines, small portions. You can't ask marathon runners to stand in line waiting to get fed. And the final straw last year at Joe's Crab Shack on the Wilm. River front. Joe's was going to close the restaurant to the public to feed the 300 folks who signed up for dinner but that never happened. The restaurant was full of their regular customers. Once again long lines and poor service. So enough is enough. We will be putting together a list of Italian Restaurants in the area to share with our out of town guests. Marathon runners.....ready....set....eat.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tees and counting....

So many tees? I would think so if you run many events. I for one have plenty. I use certain tees for certain types of activities. Dri Release tees for my hot yoga class. Under Armour type tech shirt for walking. And for hanging out I wear my special tees that i do nothing in but wear out on the town. At our DE Marathon last year Betty Olmstead collected unused tees from runners to give to kids in Africa. Her donation box was overflowing. OK.....so you don't really want another tee and you would rather pay a few bucks less in entry fees to run the race. I have no problem with this but the sponsors who support the event do. We always make sure to give sponsors enough shirts to give to staff and friends. They want to see folks wear their shirts and promote their company. For some 5k's this summer I will be doing tote bags rather than tees. Cost is the same and the totes are great to take to the beach. Charities that hire us look for us to make suggestions on what makes a race better. I always bring up the idea of no tee option but not once has a group agreed to this option. I may be race director but it is not my decision to cut fees with out tees.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Our next step....

I was watching a Southwest Airline commercial during the Final Four games on TV. They sure do a great job of promoting NO Baggage fees. Other airlines first bag $25, second bag $35 etc. I fly Southwest but that is only one of the reasons. The other is customer service and friendly staff. Now why would I even discuss this on a blog? I was thinking about what chip timing companies charge for chips. A disposable chip costs .40 each. We get a credit for returned chips. So the total cost for disposable chips for a 1700 person race is around $680. When using our IPICO chip to time races we do not charge for chips used. We only charge for chips lost. Cost is $1.75 each. For a 1700 person race I would estimate we would loose maybe 25 chips. Cost is $43.75 or a savings of $636 for the events charity. Our next step with our IPCIO chip timing is to have splits at all our events. An example would be mats at the one mile mark for 5k's, the 3.1 mile mark for 10k's, 5 mile mark for ten milers, and a split at a distance to be determined at a half marathon. Also new is the ability we have to email you or text you your time after the race is over. Our goal is to have results posted on my website ten minutes after the final finisher crosses the line. Folks ask me why i decided to go with the IPICO chip rather than the disposable chip. My answer is, "the IPICO chip is disposable but it is up to the organization to decide if this is something they want to pay for or do they want to recycle the chips and save money." So just like Southwest Airlines.....we are offering cheaper ways to chip time events with friendly customer service. My team is ready to go!