We are coming up on the Third Annual Bolt for Bolts 5k on April 18th. This is a race that means a lot to me because I am the race director and it was because of this race I gained the confidence to know I could make this store work. The race started as a way to raise money for the Littlestown Athletic Department that was close to losing sports due to budget cuts. I have nephews that play a lot of sports at the school and I was asked if I could put a 5k together. I jumped at the chance having run tons of events myself but never being involved in the planning of any of them. I figured it was just a matter of throwing a few cones out, running around with my GPS watch on til it hit 3.1 miles and wait for the runners to show. Oops!
It turns out a lot more goes into these races than I had ever expected. From building a website to getting sponsors, road closures, medical personnel onsite, actually finding a good loop that starts and finishes at exactly 5,000 meters and every other little detail in between I drastically underestimated how time consuming this can all be. Even with all the support I received I still found myself freaking out about the race as we got closer to the event. After months of planning I found myself standing in front of 238 anxious runners. When the gun finally went I found myself totally helpless to what was happening on the course itself. I had mini panic attacks making sure it was well marked and that the neighborhood knew that all these crazy people were invading their quiet development. In the end it turned out great and between the last two races we have raised over $5,000 for the school.
As I am getting ready for this years race I have realized not only how much work goes into it but how little I have thought about or given thanks to the people involved in all the races I have done over 21 years of racing. It’s a good reminder to thank the volunteers as you pass them or to let the race director know what you thought of his course before you log your notes into your running journal. These races are great yard sticks to gauge our fitness level but at the heart of them they are ways to raise money to a lot of great charities and the people out there working are donating their time to help make it go well. Hope to see everyone out in Littlestown on the 18th and if you race please say hello and thank all the volunteers on the course!