Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Gleaux Run 5K

What. A. Weekend.

Words cannot even describe the overwhelming generosity of our community and my personal friends. The response to our Gleaux Run benefiting the American Cancer Society was insane – by the start of the race, we had 640 registered runners, ready to Gleaux up the night in the fight against cancer.

Gleaux Run 5K

Last week, I placed a plea on facebook for help at the event and wow…I was literally overwhelmed by everyone who was willing to help. My dad, my friend Heather (who had to hear about  Gleaux Run planning for weeks), one of my best friends - Kim (who isn’t a runner at all), Melissa and her fiance Everett…who even followed us the storage buildings after it was all said and done, a friend from high school, church friends, a few running group friends including Greg and his wife, a couple of co-workers…the list goes ON and ON. If you’re reading this, my sincere THANK YOU. This event would not have succeeded without your help.

Check out my blog series on planning a race…
Event set up began around 2 p.m. – tents, tables, and chairs. Around 4:30 p.m./5:00 p.m., people began arriving and asked what they could do to help. I sent people to registration, I had some blow up balloons, people cutting up fruit for after the race, a few people at the luminiaria tent, some at the survivor and race-day registration tent…I am so thankful we had plenty of willing volunteers!

Gleaux Run 5K (2)

This lady and her husband are life savers!

Gleaux Run 5K (3)

This is Erin, she’s one of my favorite survivors…and a fabulous emcee, too!

Gleaux Run 5K (5)

He brought me a Minnie Mouse glow stick! HAH!

Gleaux Run 5K (14)

A local Frozen Yogurt shop was passing out 50% off coupons!

Gleaux Run 5K (11)

The sunset was gorgeous, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night.

Gleaux Run 5K (12)

Our start and finish line was a last minute fix, but I think it worked! I loved the balloons on top – they were filled with glow sticks that unfortunately did NOT glow through the balloon. #PinterestFail

Gleaux Run 5K (13)

Enough fruit for 600 people!

Gleaux Run 5K (15)

Wonderful people at the registration table!

Gleaux Run 5K (16)

Jason’s sister and brother in law – they recently began running and completed their first 5K on Friday night!

Gleaux Run 5K (10)

Ready to get this thing started! (Wish I would have thought of the glow stick Mickey headband. Oh well.)

Gleaux Run 5K (19)

Luminiaria bags were one of the most touching parts of the evening. Each candle represents a life – in honor or memory of someone who’s battled cancer. They were lit before opening ceremonies and we paid tribute to them and their battle.

Gleaux Run 5K (4)

I could not get over the turnout for our event – this is only a small portion – there were over 640 registered runners plus their families.

Gleaux Run 5K (6)

Local gym warming runners up before the race!

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Ready to GLEAUX!

Gleaux Run 5K (9)
Gleaux Run 5K (18)

After the race, we handed out awards to our top 2 male and female runners, we said goodnight, and we thanked everyone for coming. I was so overwhelmed by everything, I literally didn’t realize how tired or how hungry I was. After tearing down, we ate suppfast (supper/breakfast at  midnight) at a local IHOP (will NEVER return there again…it was horrible all around). I finally made it to bed around 1:30 a.m. and attempted to wake up for a long run on Saturday morning. Crazy, yes. Unfortunately, a pounding headache prevented me from running – so I returned to bed and slept until almost 10 a.m.! (I never do that!) Guess I needed it.

A few event hiccups:
  • The music shop that let us borrow their sound system forgot to put a microphone in the bag. Jason almost had to go to Best Buy and purchase one – but we were able to get ahold of the owner and he let us borrow a microphone instead. Whew. Crisis averted.
  • T-shirts were supposed to arrive around 4:30 p.m. They didn’t – and I didn’t realize the time. Around 5:30 p.m., our Relay staffer saved the day and picked up the shirts for us. Awesome volunteers a the tables were able to put the shirts in order and help registration flow smooth. Thank goodness!
  • The director of our event center approached me at 7 p.m. and asked if I knew for sure that the Marshal would be blocking off the road for the race. (We filled out all of the paperwork and paid them last week…just didn’t call the day of to confirm – whoops.) Kinda funny – our Mayor was standing nearby and called the Marshal on his cell to make sure they would be arriving at the race site! Of course, they were lined up and ready to go. I don’t like scares like that, but would rather be safe than sorry.
  • A last minute hiccup with the water station led to a change in location and a very brave volunteer – again, thankfully it all worked out!
I felt like this event was similar to a wedding – no matter how much planning or organizing went into it behind the scenes, SOMETHING was bound to go wrong. Thankfully, our mishaps were easily fixable and the race flowed incredibly smooth!

One high point – the route was exactly 3.1 miles long! BAM.

I also have to share an incredibly touching story…I posted it on facebook and want to share it here with you guys as well – THIS is why I Relay.

Around 5:45 pm or so, a man approached me and asked about registration. In all actuality, registration wasn't supposed to begin until 6:30 pm and our shirts weren't even out on site yet. I began speaking to the man who shared that he drove from Natchitoches (a 2 + hour drive) and arrived early cause he read about our limited amount of "extra" shirts on Facebook. He registered online but not in enough time to secure a shirt. I asked if he was affiliated with the American Cancer Society and he told me no...his son passed away from cancer 3 months ago, so he travels to all of the cancer races/benefits that are within his driving distance.

As it so happened, one of our volunteers wasn't able to make it and I had a shirt that I had set aside for her sitting in the box right next to me. I also happened to have the registration forms near me as well. Guess what size shirt he needed? Yep, the one I had on hand, the only shirt at the race site at that moment.

My heart was broken for this man and I so appreciate his support at our event. I'm glad it all worked out...sometimes things happen as they are meant to! Coincidence? I think not – this was a total God-thing!

I loved every minute of planning, organizing, and the event itself. I’m super excited about next year’s event – cannot wait!

What’s your favorite type of 5K to run? Do you like themed 5K’s? 5K’s for a cause? Please share! I love new ideas!!


  1. I'm sooooo glad this went well! If I lived closer I would have volunteered and helped you guys out :) I'm happy this was a success! Congrats!!!!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I know you would have...appreciate it! :D

  2. Wow Karen! So glad everything turned out so well! What an awesome event you put on!

    1. Thanks, Desiree! We had a great time all around!

  3. Glad everything was a success! Too bad the glow Sticks didn't shine through the balloons, that would have been cool. I love themed 5Ks. TOT will be my first night time race ever!

    1. Thanks so much! We'll have to revamp those glow sticks next year...still thinking on it! You're going to have a blast at ToT!

  4. Yay Karen! It sounds like it was a very successful race!!! And it looks like fun!!!

  5. It's sounds so hectic but so much fun too. I love fun 5k's with a cause so this would've been up my alley had it been in Dallas (and if I could run ATM...)

    1. Thanks, it definitely had its crazy moments but it was a blast, too! :D

  6. I am so glad to hear that it went so well!! Great job putting this event together Karen!

    1. Thank you, Lauren! I'm so glad it all came together in the end!

  7. Way to make me cry at work! And so glad that everything came together well :)

    1. That was a super touching moment for me, too. Thanks so much! :)

  8. That was such a touching story. I am sure that one moment made all the planning and craziness totally worth it. Great work, Karen!

  9. Congratulations on a successful run! The story of the man going to all benefits he can brought a tear to my eye. I'm glad that everything did work out.

    1. Thanks so much, I'm glad it all worked out, too! :)

  10. I was just blog surfing and came across your blog:) What an amazing event and awesome cause, you must live in an incredible community to have such a strong turn out and support for this cause. Congrats to all involved and on your events success!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! We do have a ton of community support here! Thanks so much!

  11. Congrats on organizing a well-done race! Sounds like so much work, but so rewarding, too!

    1. Thanks, Tina! It really was all of the above!


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