For the past 4 years, I have been the “race director” of a town walk/run on Thanksgiving.
The whole thing started out as a random plan hatched out of a conversation by a few friends over a bottle of wine (OK, maybe 2 or 3 bottles of wine, but really, who is counting?) We thought we should meet up at the post office and run “the loop” before we stuffed ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes, and dessert.
Actually, the conversation went like more like this:
“Hey, let’s go run The Loop Thursday!”
“We can call it a Turkey Trot! ha ha”
“You’re so awesome!”
“Let’s make a sign like they do for real ones! ha ha!”
“OK I’ll make the sign! Weee!”
I really thought it would be funny to act like it was really official, so I did follow through and make a sign, really as a joke. I added in note that it was BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog).
Race day came, it was pouring rain. I was wondering if my buddies were going to show up or not, and was shocked when 12 people and 3 dogs showed up ready to race/walk “the loop”. I know, that doesn’t sound like a lot of people. But when you live in a town with a population of 60, that is better than 10% of the town’s population. I think that is a pretty darn good.
I ran back to my house and grabbed a roll of orange flagging, tied to to the post office and rolled it across the road to make a start line. We agreed that this could double as a finish line tape, so after I shouted the official “GO!”, we picked it up and tied to to the stop sign (which, incidentally, blocks off the road), and started in front of it instead. It delays things a little, but you NEED a finish line.
|First Caratunk Turkey Trot|
This started a sort of tradition, and the number of people who attend the fun run/walk grows yearly. One year we had close to 30 people and 10 dogs. Another year a chicken came with us under my neighbor’s 10 year old daughter’s arm.
So this year, I was wondering if I should post “the sign” again or not. I guess I didn’t realize that people cared about the race all that much. I started getting phone calls and email messages last week asking me if I was still going to “do all of the planning” for the town run/walk on Thanksgiving.
All of the planning? Planning this race consists of me changing the 3rd to a 4th on my saved document, printing it, and then posting these signs up all around town:
By all posting these signs all around town I mean I posted a sign at the Post Office bulletin board.
People were immediately relieved that I had taken care of all of this detailed planning. I received half a dozen emails from people telling me they were coming, and people stopped me in town to thank me for organizing the race again. When I showed it to our post master, she gave a big sigh and said, “Oh good! I was worried you weren’t going to plan it this year! It is so nice of you to go to all of the trouble to put this together for us.”
Yeah, this race director stuff is tough. I mean, really, what would people do without me taking care of all of the “detail work” required to make this race such a success. Now, I need to make sure I have some orange flagging in my truck. You know, it is the details that make races special.