Unfamiliar Territory

March 8, 2014

Nine months away.  That's enough time, right?  To develop, organize and implement my first attempt at being a race director?  The idea scares the shit out of me.  And yet, I move forward.

The market is saturated with organizations and people "putting on races" and there are good ones out there.  There are races that can suit all levels of people - or so they say intend.  But very few actually welcome/make feel wanted the "back of the packers".  The Des Moines Half Marathon does a good job.  And so does the Williams Route 66 Half Marathon, even offering up incredible bennies for members of the Half Fanatics, but overall the offerings for 3 hour and 45 minute plus walkers are limited.  

I am one of those s.l.o.w walkers - my best time is 3 hours and 36 minutes (Yea! Run Like Hell! Portland) and my worst came in at 4 hours and 46 minutes (it almost killed me - Medicine Bow, Wyoming) and I am consistently in between those two times depending on mood, weather, shoes, excuses, whining, whatever.  Whether the course advertises a 3.5 hour time limited or 7 hour time limit, when I get to the finish line, the treats have been picked through and everyone has either gone home or is on their 2nd beer.  It's kind of anticlimactic, you know?

I've had this "itch" in the back of my mind for a few years now - I've identified an issue, now why don't I do something about it?  Or I could just sit back, continue to pay good money and continue with my bellyaching about "there's never any support for us back of the packers" - wah.  Makes you shed a tear, doesn't it?  So I am going to do something about it.  I'm going to put away the "what ifs" and bite the bullet.  My goal - to put on an event that seasoned runners and first timers (and back-of-the-packers) will feel value and appreciation for their incredible effort - whether they hit a new course record (and being a new course, the first person to finish will hold the course record!) (Hmmm, I really should market that idea - come!  Be the Course Record Holder!!!) or walked across that finish line 5 hours after they started - both efforts celebrated.

I've really got to work on that mission statement.

This scares the shit out of me.  As I've already stated.  And will probably state 12 million times more before March 8th, 2014 arrives.  I'm afraid of failing.  Of not having enough participants.  Of having too many participants.  Of not thinking of everything.  Of thinking of everything.  I am scared of total, epic failure.

And it's with that fear that I move forward.  I've picked a date.  I've contacted the local running club to make sure I'm not conflicting with their calendar.  I've poured over the event listings from the Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus of the area I live in.  I've checked the national race schedule to make sure I am not "competing" with their population in a general area.  Unless Striders (our local running club) changes their calendar, March 8th is a decent date.  

This is what I imagine will be the turnout for my event
Next is to send in the Special Event Permit application that is just sitting on my desk.  But I need to name the event.  And I need to come up with a name for my "organization".  And I need to send it in with the $150 Special Event Permit fee.  I need to do that soon.  But here's where my creativity comes to an end - I just can't think of a name for the event.  The next day is "Spring Forward" so I thought to play on that but other than "Spring Forward Half Marathon", I can't come up with a thing.

Once I get the date approved and in ink, I can start on everything else - sponsorships, fuel, t-shirts, goodie bags, volunteers, medals, and the list goes on and on and on and on.  

If I look at all that must be done, I freeze and I begin to doubt that I can do this.  So I'll look at the event as a whole and then zoom in on one particular step.  And right now, that step is to name the bloomin' event.  This one little thing is keeping me from submitting the application for the permit.  But it's just the permit, right?  I can call it "Something Shiny" on the permit and then change the name when I finally decide on one, right?  Probably not.
And this will probably be the actual turnout

Why do I think I can do this?

The tingle in my knees, is that fear or excitement?  And what happens if this is a success?  And what happens if it's not?  Lifetime experience and opportunity are often wrapped up in the tingles in your knees.  Time to shit or get off the pot.  

And I beg forgiveness for the profanity...

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