My First Time As A Race Director

32463789600_ae253c95e2_o

If you would have told me five years ago that I would be a race director, I would have laughed in your face. Heck, even a year ago, I would have scoffed at you.

It’s not that I didn’t want to be a race director, I absolutely love running and races, it’s just that five years ago I didn’t have any idea how to get involved with a running company. I started my blog and was running all the races I could, never knowing that there was a possibility I could be in charge of those races.  Fast forward a few years and I became an ambassador for a local running company, 3W Races.  Another year after that, I was offered a job in marketing for the same running company and another year after that I was transitioning into the race production side of things.

I don’t know if I ever had “race directing” on my list of possible jobs, but now it seems like a perfect fit. I love running. I love races where people can socially share their love of running and, quite frankly, I love being in charge of that! During all the smaller race-production tasks, I have loved being a part of the background, doing things people don’t know go on to make a race successful.  Then hearing people compliment the race, I feel pride, knowing I had a big part in that success.

While being on the marketing team, my transition to the production side of things started out as a volunteer coordinator, organizing the race day volunteers and making sure the course marshals and water stations were set up properly. Add in setting up the race, then mix in some website tasks, fold in packet pick up and swag ordering and you’ve got the recipe for race directing.

See me there in the back ground???

See me there in the background??? Think about all the races you have run and the people in background helping make it happen!

I was taught race director tasks little by little and my first solo race as race director was a couple of weekends ago, the Heart Throb Run 5k in Longmont. I have been an assistant race director, registration captain, and many other things, but without my mentor there, I was a little nervous to be THE Race Director. I wasn’t completely alone, the other 3W owner was there to set up the course, but it was me running the show – so to speak.

Sometimes race directors have weird tasks, like hold back the flag at the start so it doesn't hit people in the face!

Sometimes race directors have weird tasks, like hold back the flag at the start so it doesn’t hit people in the face on a very windy day!

And….. It went well! Not a snag, complaint or conundrum to be had! (Knock on wood). The day after the race, I was constantly checking my email, worried someone was going to email in a complaint, but all I saw were words of gratitude and compliments! To top it off, my mom and my boyfriend came out to run as well! Ben even took first in his age group!

I was nervous at first to be in charge of a race because sometimes, no offense, runners can be needy, crazy, and hard to please, but now that I have one under my belt, I am super excited to do more!


Check out 3W Races in Colorado! Run any race and chances are you find me there!

3w-logo-w-motto-copy

Advertisements

Re-Post – Gear Review: SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt (and giveaway!)

20160218_152339

(I was given a free Dual Pocket Running Belt in exchange for a blog post on my opinion and a gear review. All words and opinions are my own. Giveaway at the bottom.)

Lately I have been having a weird issue with low energy while in the middle of a run. I have started carrying peanut butter packs or a Bobo’s Oat Bar while running, just in case. The desire to carry my phone with me while training (so I can Instagram and tweet…oh yeah, and for safety), combined with the need for something to carry it all in (besides putting it all in my sports bra), left me looking for an accessory to fit my needs.

20160123_151208

So when I got an email to try the Dual Pocket Running Belt by SLS3, I jumped at the opportunity!

I’ve taken the belt out on many runs already and have loved it! The SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt will definitely be a part of the majority of my runs and races from here on out.

It is exactly as it sounds: a running belt with two pockets. Bonus: there are also a bunch of other wonderful features such as it’s water proof, adjustable, and “expandable” (it stretches to fit whatever you need to carry with you). It’s very lightweight and weighs as much as whatever I put in it. I tested the SLS3 Dual Pocket Belt by putting as much stuff in it that I might need in the future (maybe for a long run or a race). It was stuffed with two energy bars, a phone, car keys, and credit cards/ID  (fits my android that’s bigger than an iPhone) and probably could have fit more!

20160123_151114

The only other running belt I have, or even have tried, is a water carrier belt; I couldn’t even tell you what brand. When I run with that fully load with my belongings and water, it bounces around on my butt like crazy, and I can never get it adjusted just right to be comfortable. I end up with some sort of chaffing. This is not the case with this SLS3 belt. It didn’t bounce, ride up or down and stayed exactly where I put it on my waist.

20160123_131211The specifics:

  • Two zippered pockets (making it so I’m not worried stuff will fall out).
  • Fully adjustable waist band that’s easy to adjust (fits sizes 24″ to 32″).
  • Small and compact (1.5″ wide without anything in it).
  • Connects with a plastic buckle.
  • Fully washable.
  • Four colors to choose from: lime, purple, blue, and black. (Blue’s my favorite!)

Why I really liked it:

  • Very comfortable!
  • Didn’t bounce around while running.
  • Water resistant – even the zipper! (That means you can wear it in the rain and snow AND your sweat also doesn’t leak through.)
  • Lightweight – I barely noticed it was there and was only as heavy as the stuff I put in it.
  • Fashionable! It looks good, not like some that stick out when you run and look goofy.
  • Expandable (the pockets look small, but they fit a lot of things I want with me for a run).
Testing out the waterproof-ness in the muddy snow!

Testing out the waterproof-ness in the muddy snow!

Cons:

  • I can’t really think of any except the fact that it doesn’t have a place for water. Then again, if I needed a water belt, I would try SLS3’s Hydration Running Belt.

This running belt has been added to my running gear collection as a staple. I haven’t raced with it yet, but I look forward to having a secure, comfortable place to put my car key and phone for the next race I run!

20160123_153742

Right now SLS3 is running a limited time introductory price. The belt retails at $29.90 but their Amazon store has it listed for $16.90 (43% Off). Click HERE to look at it and get one for yourself!

Also, save 40% off the SLS3 Website with coupon code: BLOG40

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win your own! Click HERE to enter the raffle!

20160123_154040

Turkey Trek 10k and Turkey Toddle 2K Pre-Race Review (AND RACE GIVEAWAY!)

Ambassador_Badge-1GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED!

As you know, or maybe you don’t, I have been an ambassador for an amazing company called 3W Races for all of 2014. I get to carry that on into 2015 as well! With that I have been promoting the company and all our events around the community and at local run clubs. For our next race, the director allowed me to give out a free race entry on my blog!

What I really, actually, truly wanted to do was a pre-race review: VLOG sytle. Ya know, a video-blog. (Are those still even popular…I haven’t been on YouTube for a while). I planned on running (or biking) the course awhile ago to do a TRUE pre-race review, but one thing led to another, work got in the way, sleep got in the way…and I haven’t done it yet. So, yesterday, I fully intended on borrowing my roommate’s bike and riding the 6.2 miles, videoing it for you and doing my pre-race review that way.
But this is what happened:  I got up semi-early, but I just doddled too much in the morning to make it out before I had to work. When I got a text confirming that my afternoon movie plans were cancelled, I thought, “oh, I’ll just do it after work.” That was all before noon when it was a  bright and sunny 57 degrees in Colorado. But, as they say in Colorado: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.”
As soon as I was done coaching my bootcamp at the rec center, I walked outside to 30 degrees and a mild blizzard! But I was determined. I bundled up and told myself I was just going to do it and get it over with.
So, I drove to the course site, sat in my car for a bit to video myself (Vlogging is strange) and got the bike out of my car. I tried hopping on, but the seat was too high (my roommate must have looooonnnggg legs) and I looked like I never had ridden a bike before. I couldn’t reach the pedals properly, almost ran into a rock and pretty much fell off. If only someone had videoed that! Fully intending on still going with my “epic fail” vlog, I got home and realized I have no idea how to edit videos. Wah-Wah.
So, in a long story short: You just get my lovely writing styles like usual:
Coming up in less than two weeks is really fun race, and I, Racing the States, get to give away one free race entry!!!
images_(1)WHAT: 10K Turkey Trek and 2K Turkey Toddle by 3W Races
WHEN: November 22nd (the Saturday before Thanksgiving). The 10K starts at 8:30am, the 2K at 8:45am
WHERE: It’s in Arvada at the Long Lake Regional Park
WHY: Alright, here’s where we get to have a little fun…. Let me list the reasons you should do this race:
1. First off, it’s a race, need I say more? And I know all you bloggers are addicted to racing. But seriously, 3W always puts on great races. They are fun, organized and the always run on by great, friendly directors and volunteers.
images_(2)2. They have partnered with the Arvada Community Food Bank. Perfect for the holiday season. If you bring five items to donate to the ACFB, you will get entered into a raffle for some really sweet prizes! For more information on the ACFB or info on what to donate click here.
3. There will be awards for the top three overall male and females as well as age group awards for the 10k. The 2k is not timed, but the top three men and women receive a medal!
TurkeyTrekPic4. I saved the best for last…The main reason you should do this race is for the Egg Nog Chug Challenge!!! (Or the Fill Your Pie Hole Challenge for the 2kers). At mile 3 (after a huge hill, mind you), if you successfully chug a 5 oz glass of egg nog, you will be entered to win a free pair of shoes! In the 2k, with half the run left, you get entered into a raffle if you successfully eat a piece of pumpkin pie! Mmmmmmm…..
TurkeyToddlePicMy only complaint is WHY CAN’T I DO BOTH!?! Luckily for me, I am one of those people with a stomach of steel and I can eat what ever I want while I run. And also lucky for me that since I’m a 3W ambassador, I bet I get a piece of pie if there’s any leftover at the end!
HOW: So now that you are dead set on running this race with me, (yes, I will be there, and yes, I will be doing the Egg Nog Chug challenge), here’s how you register: Click this link. (if you don’t win the free-race entry). With registration, in addition to the wonderful event, you do get a tech t-shirt. I think it’s pretty cute. More information, if I left anything out, is HERE.
TshirtPicExtra Info:
1. The Race will go on whether there’s snow or sunshine, so plan accordingly!
2. Water: 3W is a cup-free finish area, so bring your own water bottle to fill! It’s good for the environment! There’s two water stations along the 10k and one water station at the turn around of the 2k.
3. Dogs and strollers ARE allowed, so bring them if you need to. I guess you could even bring your child in the stroller if you want as well. To each their own.
Oh yeah..the GIVEAWAY!!! Obviously a lot of you are not Colorado Locals, however, if you know someone in this wonderful state and want to try and win the race entry for them, then go right ahead. Rules:
1. One entry if you comment on this post. Tell me your favorite Thanksgiving food. I love food.
2. One entry PER Facebook, twitter, or other social media share. (Limit to one per each – I mean share all you want, but the max entries into my giveaway is one for this). Please tell me you did so in the comments, because I’m not that computer savvy and wont be able to track it all. However, each post share MUST mention Racing the States, AND 3W races. It could be something like this: “I want to do the EGG NOG CHUG! I entered to win a free race entry from @racingthestates for @3wraces Turkey Trek 10K and 2k Turkey Toddle!” for twitter.
3. One entry if you follow me on TWITTER, FACEBOOK or INSTRAGRAM (please tell me you did so in the comments)
4. One entry if you follow 3w Races on Twitter or Facebook (likewise, please tell me you do so in the comments)
This will be good for the 10k or the 2k!! I will do the drawing SUNDAY morning, so you have until midnight this Saturday (11/15)
images

Kooky Spooky 5K and Warm Up Trainer

2014-KS-Page-Header-UpdatedThe weekend before Halloween, I got the opportunity to again lead the warm up before a race! The Kooky Spooky 5k, 10k and Half put on by All-Out Multisports took place in, technically, Golden although it really is Arvada, CO.

If you recall, this is the racing company that I volunteer at and using my personal training and coaching experience, I lead two different warm ups. One before the half marathon and one before the 5k and 10k. This is the fourth event I have done with them! At first, to be completely honest, I thought it was a silly idea. Runners usually don’t warm up at all or if they are super competitive, they have their own warm up. But as the events have gone on, I have come to really enjoy it AND regulars at these events know I’ll be there and continue to join me. My warm ups have been getting larger and larger!

I arrived around 7am to check in and figure out where I needed to be. I was greeted by the volunteer coordinator and some friends that I have met in the running world that were also volunteering. I got my registration for the 5k done so I was prepared to jump in the coral for the 5k start after the warm up.

20141026_102313First the half marathoners joined me for a warm up and I led them trough some track-style moves. I joked and laughed with the runners, promising PR’s (not guaranteed). It was really fun!

Next, the 5k and 10k runners joined me for a similar warm-up. I had a LOT more people join me this time. I finished up, the 10kers started and I joined the 5k-ers in the coral for our start.

To be honest, ever since the half I did in the middle of September, I haven’t been running much. I really beat myself up at that race and kinda have been in a rut, motivation wise, not sure what I really want to do with running.

I also haven’t even had time to run. I have been working SO MUCH! 50, 60 hour weeks between all of my jobs to catch up financially. So for me to “race” was a long shot. I literally was just using it as an excuse to make sure I ran.

I didn’t really feel like I would do well, and I knew I would;t place overall, but as I was looking around, I got the impression I might be able to place in my age group. It always happens…the closer I get to race time, I get this awful competitive urge. Some races I don’t intend to be competitive and I step up to the starting line and that feeling just takes over.

11668_92038_3894My Race – 4/5:

I started out pretty slow – on purpose. I have a tendency to start off too fast in races, trying to keep up  with the lead people. But this race I purposefully started out slow. Boy did that take a lot of self-control!

With the sun blazing down on this Colorado Fall Day, it was actually really hot and I was struggling a little with keeping pace. Like I said, I hadn’t been running much. The course was actually pretty hard. There was a lot of hills as it wound around the reservoir along the Ralston Creek Trail.

At the turnaround, I knew I had to tackle those same hills! I was talking to a friend after the race and we both agreed that the whole race felt up hill! Obviously impossible, but it was just one of those days and courses that felt like the incline never went away.

With a half mile left, I knew I was almost done, breathing hard up the hill (a real one, I swear), I tried to hold it together as I could see the finish line ahead.

I crossed under the finish sign, exhausted, trying to smile for the camera, but as you can see, failing.11668_92038_4434

I quickly found water and Gatorade and refueled, waiting for the race results.

Turns out, all that not-running was beneficial (Disclaimer: I don’t actually recommend that as a training principle) and I placed 1st in my age group!!!

Overall – 5/5:

Always an excellent event with All-Out Multisports. You can tell they take the time to make sure everything runs smoothly. My volunteer duties are pretty minimal, so I am not involved too much with behind the scenes here, but one of my friends volunteers a lot with registration. She had told me that they tried a new system and it was really chaotic behind the scenes. As a participant, I didn’t notice any of it be before, during or after the race. I thought everything was normal!

Race Organization – 5/5:

Pretty much what I said above.

Cost – 5/5: 

20141026_125245I think you get the most for your money with these races through this company. Given I didn’t pay for the race, but I know they cost the average as far as races go (starting at $35 and ending at $50 race day). For the Kooky Spooky, you got a cute long-sleeved shirt, a beanie (hat), a finishers medal (all race distances), prizes for overall finishers, free photos, post run food, access to all the expo booths, and the whole set up, organization, and volunteers (that stuff is not cheap – money or time wise!). Well worth it!

Post Run – 4/5:

Lots of sponsor booths including: Longmont Dairy Farm (mmmmmmmm chocolate milk), Naked Juices (from all the random jobs I do, I knew the people working this and they sent me home with a BUNCH of juice. SCORE!), Girls on the Run, It Works (I don’t really like that product), and I honestly can’t think of what else was there, but there was a lot of booths.

The race itself had provided breakfast burritos, bagels, and fruit! While I was snacking on food and talking to friends, I actually had a few people seek me out. One gentleman came up to me exclaiming he had been looking for me everywhere. He had never warmed up before a race before and he took 3 minutes off of his half marathon time!! Thanking me, I smiled!

Similarly, while I was waiting for my age-group award, I was standing next to a gentlemen who had done the 5K warm up with me. He said he took 5 minutes off of his time!!!! 5 minutes!?! That’s awesome, AND he placed 1st in his age-group! He was so thankful for me and said he was going to have to remember all those warm up moves for his next race!

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 9.56.16 AMCourse – 3/5:

Oof! Hard! Or it just felt that way. Maybe I’m out of shape! It was also pretty hot for being fall and there was not much shade!

 

11668_92038_4119

 

Your Turn: Did you do any halloween-themed race???