Saturday, November 5, 2011

Organized my first 5K race...Lessons learned

Today I hosted a 5K race to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society / Team in Training. I had been stressing all day long yesterday hoping that I had gotten everything right. Well, this is how the day went...

The hubs and I met the daughter at the college where I was holding the race. It was 6:30am and cold, but at least the full expected wind of 20-25 mph with gusts to 50mph hadn't hit yet. First off, I set up the tables at the wrong finish line, luckily hubs noticed and we only had to move about 75' to the east. It took a little while to find the starting line as spray paint on asphalt is hard to see when it's dark. Finally we got tables set up and started setting out waivers and registration slips. Thankfully I had thought to pick up some big stones from the front yard to use as paperweights since the wind had started picking up since we arrived. The daughter tried to help but says that I didn't delegate...that I have control issues and tried to do everything myself. It was only the three of us working the other volunteers didn't show up. As we continued to set up we found that of the two timers we had the newest one wasn't charged (didn't think to check it last night) and when I plugged it into the inverter in my car it needed too much power and smoked the inverter! Well, that made that particular clock unusable. Thankfully we had the charging station for the second, older clock which worked but took the old man awhile to figure out how to get it running in the right mode.

We were just about set up and I had the daughter putting together bibs with safety pins and stuffing t-shirts into the pre-registered participant's goody bags. The pre-registered sign in went easy enough, but same day registration was a bit rough. I think it would have been easier with more people working the registration table, but we muddled through. Next time (if there is one) there will be a specific table to same day and another for pre-registered check-ins. Another thing we found was that I'm apparently missing some t-shirts...I made the mistake of not counting them yesterday because I was so stressed and when it came to passing out shirts for some participants that I knew would be registering the same day I didn't have them. I'll need to check with the printer on Monday to see if they have some floating around the shop.

Once we got everyone and everything set we got the race started nearly on time and everything went smoothly thereafter. I managed to get times and pass out medals for  overall, women's and men's first through third places. We had bottles of water to pass out at about the midway point as well as at the end of the race with mini donuts. We had several people hang out after they finished running (most were walkers) and I spent some time talking to a couple of women who had been running for a while. One was training for the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Antonio and another had lost 40 pounds and is loving running having run several marathons, halfs and such. Very inspiring!

We were all cleaned up and ready to go by 9:30am. Not bad...short and sweet event but I'll have to think hard about doing it again. Why? Well,  I'd need to be sure I had at least a dozen volunteers...even though the turnout was small more workers would have made the process easier. If I did have it again, it would be held in warmer weather...maybe September or early October. I also think that I would put out mail in registration as well as online and same day.

I haven't counted the funds yet...and I also have to figure out how much in out-of-pocket expenses I had. I also need to figure out how to claim those out-of-pocket expenses for tax purposes. At least I see this as a learning experience and did have some fun in the process. Quite of few of the participant said that they enjoyed it and so I think some fun was had at all. I have a week before stressing out again for the Zumbathon on the least that will be inside where it's warm!! LOL!!

If you'd like to support me in my fundraising efforts, please donate online at my fundraising/training page, "13.1 Miles to Never Never Land". If you wish to mail in a donation, please contact me via email at ClovisTNT(at) Thanks for your support!

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