Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bucket of Blood Races

Kyle and I have been pretty good about helping our community with different activities and events. One that has become somewhat of a tradition has been helping with the Holbrook's Wild West Day (formerly known as Old West Days). For the past couple years Kyle has DJ'd the entire event and I have made and sold bows for some extra cash during the summer. We also would help with the Bucket of Blood races- and that has turned into a little more then just "helping". It started one year when the Bike Race Director's Vince and Nancy Farr were going to be out of town and they couldn't do it. Of course we stepped in and offered our services. We had never been the "directors" before but we've helped and knew that we needed to do. All went well with the race- and it put a little bug in Kyle's ear. Before we knew it we were going to put on a Half-Marathon. Big jump right? I know! I had ran 1 10K but other then that neither of us had any experience in the matter. That didn't matter to Kyle. He lives by something he Dad said... "Would it make it better? Then do it." So... we did it.

This year was our 3rd year and the Half-Marathon has literally doubled in size every year. The first year we only had 10 runners in the Half, the 2nd year was 27, and this year we had 62! We have learned so much from race directing and we definitely know it wouldn't have gone so well if we didn't have all the volunteers. I'll run you through how race morning goes just so you get an idea :)

The previous years we have had all the runner pick up their packet that morning in the parking lot of the courthouse. I knew with 67 runners we would definitely need to do it somewhere else the day before or we would never get the runners ready by race time. I set up a small table at the courthouse during the Wild West Days on Friday where the runners could pick all their stuff up. Kyle was DJing so he was able to hang out with me a little bit and my awesome MIL took the kiddos to her house when they got really bored. About 3/4 of the runners picked up their packets that night so I am much calmer about the next morning. Fast forward to race morning- we had to get up at about 4 AM to make sure everything was ready to go. I actually think Kyle and Lorin Larson woke up around 3 AM to finish marking the course and making sure that was all ready to go.

We set up a small table at the courthouse in the parking lot and made sure everything for registration was good and ventured off to put up the start and finish signs. We had 5 or 6 other volunteers that morning and more came as the sun started coming up. The race started at 6 AM and we had about 60 runners that actually showed up, but that was still double what we had the year before. As the runners left it was time for us registration people to start getting the finish line ready for when they came. At the finish line we needed to make sure we had paper/pencils, the finishers medals, the cop to help the runners cross the highway safely, breakfast, water, gatorade, and someone to make sure that people didn't walk onto the sidewalk where the runners were coming. It was quite the dance when we got everyone situated in their right places. We would see a runner coming up in the distance and the officer would ride up to them on a golf cart and show them where to go. Another officer would hop out of the golf cart and stop traffic on Navajo. At the same time there would be someone stopping the pedestrains from walking on the sidewalk to where the Finish line is. At the actual finish line there are 3 people- One person needs a pen and paper and be writing down the number of runner that is coming up, another would be holding a timer and telling the previous person what their time is, and a third chasing down the runner and tearing off the bottom portion of their race number and put it in order so we know who was 1st, 2nd and so forth. Another person was handing out the medals to the racer as they came by and another is handing out water/gatorade/nutrition bars for the runners.

When all was said and done the times/places were calculated to put everyone in their right category so we knew who to give the prizes to.  In the 10 K that I ran they were awesome and gave out raffle prizes to all the runners no matter what their place was. I really liked that because even though I didn't win I was still able to walk away with something- so we implemented that with this race.

After all the races are complete (Bike race, Family Fun Run, 10K, and Half Marathon) we all met in the gazebo area of the Courthouse and we drew the raffle tickets and handed out all the prizes. This was the only thing that was really bad this year. We had someone in the courthouse printing off certificates for the winners of each category and that took a really long time. If we were to do the Half again we would definitely ditch the certificates.

Everything went so well and we learned so much during the race. At this point we aren't sure if we are going to be able to do the race next year since Kyle and I will both we tagging along with my Dad on the Race Across America and that will be going on only 2 weeks before the race. With all the prep work that goes into being race directors we just aren't sure if we will have enough time. We'll have to see :)

Maybe if Kyle gets some time he will be able to get give some insight on what happens on the actual course- but there's a little insight for you on the start and finish lines!

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