Monday, August 8, 2011

Hartford, VT Inaugural 5K Fun Run/Walk Event (part ONE)

This past Saturday a vision I had that turned into a dream that turned into action came to fruition as Hartford, VT's Inaugural 5k Fun Run/Walk. Seen here is our registration station, staffed by volunteers from the Friends of Hartford Track organization. What luck it was to have them show up to pitch in!
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to take a few lines to thank people who made it possble.
First up, of course, is my wife. I couldn't have done this without her support and putting up with me and my zany ideas, last minute schedule changes, and time spent lost in my head while she keeps the ship afloat. I just wish that she could have been in town for the event. Next year, perhaps!
My parents, sister, and nephew pitched in to help, too. Thanks, guys!
The ladies at Up&Running Online were great with helping me get the class together, and this race was the culmination of a hot summer at the track! Way to go! The class was the first of its kind sponsored by the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department, and was also the first time I had done anything like this. All in all, it was a success!
The generous people at RoadID (see link at right) donated race bibs, fliers, and coupons for participants. It was great to have real race bibs for first timers; added to the legitimacy of what they were doing!
GuEnergy supplied the students with sample packs, and this lead to good discussions about eating, timing, bodily functions, and good laughs. Oh, and of course we enjoyed the products!!!
Don from RSD Companies let us use one of their parking lots for registration and, ummm...parking!
I would also like to thank members of  the online community who offered words of encouragement and tips along the way. #nomorebs #ownit
Ok...the nitty gritty....

Going in to last week, only THREE people had signed up for the event, not including the 6 members of the class who said that they could make it. I gotta tell you, I was very discouraged with these numbers. Still, I was determined to make this the best FREE event that they had ever signed up for, as well as make it memorable for the students. Mid week I met with the Rec Director and others to finalize our list of items and firmed up that I would be picking up some things from them on Friday evening.
Friday I picked up caution signs for the road, cones for one of the bad corners, the PA system (circa 1970), a tent, and some banners. I also learned that nearly 20 people had signed up at the Rec office! My parents and I went to HomeDepot in search of grade stakes for signs, but came up empty. Thankfully I have a tough time throwing away wood scraps, and was able to reuse some that were under our deck. We managed to grab some oranges, and headed home, after a brief stop for an ice cream cone...
Once home, I set my Dad to work filling out the registration lists and my Mom to work getting the bib/registration packets ready while I wandered around the house trying to make sure that I had everything that I needed. (note: this would have been a great time for me to have had a physical LIST....)
After a mostly sleepless night, I set out around 7 to meet up with the Parks/Rec Director to place road signs, the water station at the turn around, and the tent. Sheila and Chris, from the aforementioned Friends of Hartford Track were there to help out as well. They are both runners, so I tasked them with the registration area (which also allowed them to drum up interest for their organization!) My Mom and I went out to remeasure the course and to plant signs at the 1,2,3,4k points. My Dad agreed to man the water station at the turn around, which also meant that he was in charge of traffic control at that end of the course. Lemme tell you, if you want traffic controlled with runner's safety at the top of the requirements, put an Army Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) in charge. No one gets through.....
Mom helped get the admin stuff ready as people started to show up, and she acted as my reassurance that everything was going to work out fine. I kept texting Tracey and sending her pictures, and she expressed happiness for me and wished that she could have been there, too. (+1, me!)
My sister and nephew showed up, having driven 2.5 hours to get there, and we were just about ready to go.
I gathered the participants near the tent and gave a safety brief as well as thanked our supporters and volunteers. (ALWAYS important to thank your volunteers. Always.) A funny thing happened during the briefing that bears mentioning.
Have you ever been to a race where you take off (always too fast!), only to have some dolt drop to his/her knees about 50 yards in, having just realized that their shoe wasn't tied tightly enough? BAM! you stumble, others stumble. yea. I didn't want that to happen, so I encouraged everyone to double check their shoes and their knots. AND THEY DID. It was like they all were jenuflecting in front of me! I almost laughed aloud, but managed not to. Oh, also....remember to put your phone on silent. Yea....right in the middle of it all....>RING RING RING....good times.
Alright...that's enough for now. Tomorrow, the RACE! and some pictures......

Thanks for sticking around.
Be Well,


  1. Love this!! I can't wait for the pictures!

  2. SO HAPPY to see this vision a reality thanks to your tenaciousness.

  3. So exciting to hear that everything panned out for you Gene! Can't wait to read the rest!

  4. Would have liked to participate - but was already signed up for another race (XTerra Stoaked) in Hanover that morning. I'm glad it was a success! Next year - you'll certainly have more participation! Good Job!!!

  5. It sounds great! I can't wait to see the pictures. :)

  6. I'm very proud to know ya man. What a great way to get people active and providing people with an outlet to get together and run.

    I remember you talking about getting this started, and i'm glad it went so well. I can feel your excitement in the post gene. Awesome. Way to go!

  7. I am so proud of you for getting this together and getting all the runners going!! Really amazing!!!!

    #nomorebs to the core love it!

  8. refresh
    wheres part two? :)