We made a few changes this year and I love how they turned out! For starters, the location of the race changed to the lake (which happens to be my favorite running spot in town). Only downfall, most all races that occur downtown have the same exact route. Second, all of our Veterans received a shirt in a completely different color from everyone else's - regular registration included a white shirt while Veterans included a red shirt. This really helped the Veterans stand out from the crowd. Another change was the inclusion of an official start and finish line. This one was probably my favorite - I love Americana and patriotism, so we used several American flags to serve as the "chute" for the finish line. We also included flags from each branch of the military in between.
I cannot say enough amazing things about these guys, our race committee! I loved working together to put on this awesome event! We had a great time (despite a few bumps in the road), but everything came together in the end and went off without a hitch!
The theme for this race was "T.G.I.F" (Thank God I'm Free). We usually hold this race around the 4th of July and our Patriotic Sunday service, but I think everyone's convinced now that moving it to Veterans Day weekend would make more sense. It's way too hot in the summer and people are on vacations, etc. So, Veterans Day Weekend it is (of 2016)!
Prior to the race, we put out all of the signs - mile markers, turn here, and these motivational ones (which were my favorite)....
We received great feedback on these signs! They ranged from "Almost There" to "Our Veterans Thank You" to "You Can Do It"! Who doesn't love a little motivation during a race?
Once we got started with opening ceremonies, we heard a message of thanks (to the Veterans) from our Mayor...
Our Pastor led in opening prayer...
And one of our musician friends played the Star Spangled Banner on his trumpet.
After all of that, we were ready to begin the race. The Marshall who was working the site asked if we had an opening ceremony to complete - when I told him we already did it, he was shocked and said he usually has to push 5K's along! He was surprised that we were ready to go, and on time at that! :D Organization for the win!
...and they're off!
The wind was SO crazy we literally had people holding down our tents (most were staked into the ground but our start and finsh line signs weren't).
If you look close at the above pictures of the start/finish line sign, we had two bags of sand and stones that were duct taped to the tripod bottom in order to keep it from blowing away. That still didn't work - thank goodness for volunteers who didn't mind holding them down until the end of the race!
We re-enacted our advertisement video from a few weeks ago! Haha! HE WON! Kidding...
As runners came rolling in, we were excited to see our friend and youth pastor in first! He said he was in it to win it, and that's just what he did!
My husband and our friend Everett completed the race together!
My favorite part, though was having the opportunity to cheer on our Veterans as they crossed through the finish line!
A video was also created for Sunday morning, but mostly included footage from the 5K, so here it is!
If you're interested in the entire race planning process, I put together a series last summer that includes three parts:
I definitely looked back over those posts many times just to make sure I remembered it all!
Well, that's a wrap! I've enjoyed planning this race over the past several months and had fun putting it all together with our fabulous committee! Looking forward to next year's race and supporting an awesome cause. It's because of our Veterans that we can enjoy SO many rights and privileges today. I can't thank them enough for their sacrifice!
How was your weekend? Have you ever helped plan a race/been on a race committee/been a race director?