Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Creemore Copper Kettle Dash

Ah!  The joys of organizing a race!  Don't get me wrong.  There are a plethora of positives being involved in a race as a volunteer, spectator or race director.  The big difference is the potential downside to being an RD.  When people explain to me that they have this incredible idea for a race and ask me how they should proceed with setting it up,the first question I ask them is if they like their house.  It's not that I want to discourage people from organizing a race, but I do want to make certain the understand that they are taking a risk.

An RD's worst nightmare is being sued for demonstrated lack of due diligence.  That one eye-level branch that a trail prep volunteer didn't see? (get it?).  A missing sign to direct runners away from the highway?  You get the picture.  Organizing a race is in itself a great reward, but you had better have a thick skin and never expect everything to go smoothly.  Ever.

In order to obviate any apprehension that might be building due to the above, ominous paragraph, nothing terrible happened at the Copper Kettle Dash.  I missed placing a marshal at a critical intersection.  11 of the top 10K runners went off course.  Some were mildly disappointed, one woman was considerably agitated.  And righly so!  She had missed an age category win.  I don't know about you, but I can count my AC wins on one ham.  No, it's not a typo...  The 11 runners that completed 12+K will be receiving a special prize.  And I think it is important not to adjust their times, or some such measure in order to place them closer to where they would have been, had they run the 10K course.  Doing so would create a negative impact to all of the runners that ran the 10K course.  The lead runner ended up coming in second.  The first place runner was in second place at the marshal-less intersection, but had run the race last year and completed the 10K course.

Aside from the "10K fiasco", the day was perfect for running, money was raised for the YMCA Strong Kids campaign and no one was hurt because of the problem.  One puzzling aspect of the race is that attendance in the second year (2013) is down.  Not sure why, but our intent (Lee Anne is RD and I am her assistant) is that this race would pay for itself AND raise money for Strong Kids.  I thought that attendance would grow dramatically, as the race is affiliated with the Brewery's Copper Kettle Festival.  The race is turning into more of a family race (see results, as 14 year Miranda Thompson was first in the 5K race!), but based on my race (Creemore Vertical Challenge), a 5 or 10 K run followed by a beer garden?  Am I missing something here?


I know Chris McPeake.  You walked me through how to change a sentence into a link.  I thought it was black magic and am afraid to try it again, in case I accidentally create a logical discontinuity and we become doomed to repeat Groundhog Day over and over.

Well, avoiding the mistake in future years (if the race continues) is simply enough; have someone verify the Marshals are all in place before the race starts.  Even so, I will dwell on this tactical error for a few years.  I don't like making mistakes!

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