Sunday, November 21, 2010

Details

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. 

The Loop

Actually, the conversation went like more like this:

"Hey, let's go run The Loop Thursday!"

"Wahoo!"

"Yeah!"

"We rock!"

"We can call it a Turkey Trot! ha ha"

"Wahoo!" 

"Yeah!"

"You're so awesome!"

"Let's make a sign like they do for real ones! ha ha!"

"Cheers!"

"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.

36 comments:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

That is soooo coool, Over 20% of your town showed up!!! nice!!!

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

This is too awesome, and completely hilarious at the same time.

I was JUST thinking, since I can't make it to the big turkey trot in downtown Dallas, doing one right here with my friends... Maybe I'll even print a sign.

Jason said...

Honestly....this is so cool I am going to convince Karen that we should head up there next year for turkey day....I mean how cool would that be?

Have you added race director to your resume?

Jon said...

Awesome!

You are like the town's celebrity! :)

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

This had me smiling from the start!

I so need to visit Caratunk!

*~* *~* Tracy said...

Love it! So fun and such a sense of community.

Colleen said...

What a fun community event! :)

Ironman By Thirty said...

That is so awesome! I agree with Jeff - Caratunk needs a visit. You could arrange a blogger party there and easily double the towns population :) haha

Caratunk Runner's Club??? How many members do you have?

M. Louise Cunningham said...

Are walkers allowed? Or is it strictly for runners?

KJ said...

I wanna visit, too!! I think we should absolutely have a blogger meet and converge on Caratunk! They won't know what hit them!

Awesome post!

RockStarTri said...

This is good stuff. With the growth of this event I'm sure you'll be either turning people away or having a lottery soon. Perhaps revised qualifying standards will be in order or something like the last person that crosses the finish line carries the chicken next year.

The variations are endless.

Christi said...

What a great thing you are doing! I hope you have a great race this year!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Well now we know who to turn to with our RD questions. What happens if the whole town shows up?

DRog said...

Haha!
this is GREAT!!! what other RD in the country can boast they had 25% of the city turnout for the first year, and got that number up to 50% by year 3!

Seriously so great you guys do this I'm sure it gives you a sense of community

Derek

Anne-Marie said...

So cool! I think you should definitely add 'race director' to your resume :)

Claire said...

All great races start somewhere...thats good stuff there!

TreeMapper said...

If I wasn't doing dinner at the in-law's I'd be there... maybe next year. Have a great time.

Run Strong

Aimee said...

That is just sooo awesome! You seriously ROCK!

P said...

This post makes me so happy - what a great tradition you've started!

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

Thank you for the comment of my blog. I'm your new follower by the way =) Adding you to my blog roll =)

Patrick Mahoney said...

While you where putting up the signs that get 20+% of your town together for a race, I was meeting my neighbor 2 houses down for the first time. I've lived here six years.

Copychic said...

What a great tradition! Kudos to you for "planning" such a wonderful event :)

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Hey,
Add a swim and bike and maybe WTC will buy you!!!!

Matty O said...

Hilarious! Love your humor :)

And your RD duties are serious business alright, lets keep it up and continue to host a world class event alright?! :)

Percentages are impressive.

Midwestern Dot said...

Way to go Director Caratunk!

Soon you'll have half the town joining you for long swims and rides!

Runners Fuel said...

That is so awesome!

TreeMapper said...

Hey Mandy, wanna be the RD for an inaugral Blogger's Tri in Caratunk? That would be a hoot!

Run Strong

misszippy said...

I love it! Look what a bottle wine can do for the world...

Jamoosh said...

Whoa - how did this not appear in my Active.com calendar. I have added you to my RSS feed so I don't miss next year's version.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

that is one of the coolest things ever! I love the initative and so fun that it keeps growing and being fun!!

Zaneta said...

lol... this post made me chuckle!!
but seriously?! That's so cool that so many people in your town are excited for the fun run/walk that started as a semi-joke!! Awesome that all those people want to get out on Thanksgiving morning for a little exercise :D

Black Knight said...

Mandy for Major!!!!!

Janet Edwards said...

Love it...sounds super fun!

Glenn Jones said...

10AM? My type of start time! Looks like a ton o' fun!

Laura said...

that is super cool! :) Love the small town feel... look at you making things happen and sharing the love of the outdoors and exercise! :D

The Green Girl said...

Girl, you seriously rock. I love it.

When I first started reading I got all excited and was going to hit you up with advice because I'm currently on a committee to plan a walk. Heh!