You never know where you’re going to end up in life. Right now, I am headed toward race directorship. In less than a month, I’ll be a race director. And that thought frightens me a little.
Last month, I helped the Mesa Monument Striders running club with the timing of two small races here in the valley – the Valentine Massacre 3 Mile Prediction Run and the Lions Club’s Cabin Fever Reliever 5K. I am learning how to do the timing so that I’ll know the procedures and what to watch out for on the day of the race that I’m planning, the Lincoln OM ROARing to Run 5K (April 19, 8:30 a.m.).
One thing I noticed as I was working the timing table at the Cabin Fever Reliever is that when participants came to us with questions, the guy in charge would say, “Oh, we’re just the timers. You’ll need to ask the race director.” Then, he’d point out the man, the Lion, who was in charge and send that person his way. Some of the questions they asked, ooo la la, I was glad I wasn’t yet a race director because I wouldn’t know how to answer them and wouldn’t want to deal with them.
Other than learning how to time races, I’ve been busy running possible routes, securing insurance, checking into permits, creating a website, designing a race T-shirt, choosing who will make our T-shirts, setting registration fees and age groups, selecting awards and accepting donated door prizes, researching online registration companies and trusting that the online registration won’t fail us, planning race day snacks and race day registration goodie bags, creating and distributing flyers, organizing a running club at the school to get the students fired up about and trained for the race, lining up volunteers, trying to think through every little detail that needs to be in place on race day, and the biggie – rounding up sponsors. Did you know that races make most of their money (ours is going toward technology for our classrooms) from their sponsors and not through race registration fees? That will definitely be the case with our race as we are keeping our fees incredibly low so that our students and families, and perhaps YOU, will be able to participate in this event.
It’s been a bit stressful and I know I’ll be sleeping a whole lot better after April 19, but trying to organize a race has also been a good learning journey.
I just have a few more things to figure out before I’ll feel comfortable sitting in the director’s chair.
Randee Bergen is a single mother of two teenagers and an elementary school teacher. Read her Fridays on Healthy Mesa County.