On Saturday afternoon, our Charlotte Running Club put on their 2nd club race the Winter Classic 8k. My first year, I had been on the race committee only a few weeks and then came out to help on race day. Much of the logistics for the race fell on to Aaron's shoulders. 2013 came and with my new role as President of the club came a larger role in the race logistics and the race directing.
This was not an unwelcome challenge. Over the last few years, directing a race has been something that I become more interested in trying out. Stepping across the line from running a race to directing a race has opened my eyes to a whole new world and the challenges coming from it.
This is why I took special pride in this race. I wanted our Winter Classic 8k to be a success and it was. Although, I am not going to set here and say that all of our success from this race fell squarely on my shoulders, because it did not. Our club has a great group of people that contributed to our success. Our current board members Mike B, Ben, Stephanie, Jon, Billy, Aaron, Rob, Caitlin, and Jaime played a major role. Jamaar who was on the board last year contributed many hours before and on race day to our success. Then, there is Mike K. who isn't even on the board. He spent countless hours making contacts with sponsors and developing much of the artwork for our race. Across the board these are the leaders that made this race such a success in just its second year. I would also like to thank the numerous volunteers who came out and helped support our race on Saturday afternoon. Without their willingness to give back, no amount of success would have been possible.
One aspect of this race that I am most proud is our partnership with Running Works. Meredith, Justin, and Pat head up the Running Works organization and, it has been pleasure working with them and working with the "Neighbors". I have personally run with them from the Urban Ministries and it is an awesome experience. More people should make the time to run with them and stay for the post run discussion group.
My hope is the donation from our race will them continue their efforts long into the future.
For the rest of this post, I thought I would share some of the special moments that I remember from the race.
- Mike rolling in that morning with a trailer loaded down with tables and chairs.
- Seeing Jamaar and Ben assembling the finish line area.
- Watching the numerous volunteers work the registration tables.
- Hearing the music from Kiss 95.1 playing in the background and seeing the runners coming across the bridge.
- Being there when the Running Works van rolled up and seeing the excited looks on their faces as they registered for the race.
- Having the Pizza call me several times so I could sign the $490 receipt for 80 pizzas. This is the most pizzas that I have ever ordered
- Making the rounds of meeting and thanking all of our sponsors that came out on race day.
- Watching the Fun Run go off and seeing the kid's make their way around the lake and to the finish line.
- Seeing the kid's get their Extreme Ice hockey puck and medal for running
- Then, watching the 8k runners take to the paths of the McAlpine Greenway.
- Watching the guys from Ashville dressed in their orange singlets and run some fast times.
- Handing out water to all of the runners as they crossed the finish line.
- Hearing the Running Works "neighbors" tell their stories after crossing the finish line in their first 8k.
- Handing out the RRCA Awards and then the Winter Classic 8k awards. Congratulating each one of the winners for an exceptional run.
- Big thanks to Peter from Vac & Dash and our RRCA State Rep for making the RRCA awards happen.
- Once the dust had settled and the runners had left, we were breaking everything down and packing up.
At the end of the hard busy day when all of the work has been completed, the time has finally come to step back and enjoy the moment. You know you did a good job.
Lastly, every race is composed of three groups: the runners, the volunteers, and the sponsors. With the cost of races going up, our Winter Classic 8k was made possible because we have a great supporting group of sponsors.
To them, I send my personal "Thank You".
- Inside Out Sports
- Extreme Ice presenting sponsor for the fun run
- Omega Sports
- Vac & Dash
- State Farm
- Road Runners Club of America
- Great Harvest
- Earth Fare
- Fly Wheel
- Austin Photography
- Dilworth Grille
- Hickory Tavern
- Sonny's BBQ
- Mellow Mushroom
- Carolina Sports Massage
- YWCA 3 month membership
- Sun & Ski Ballantyne
- Panera Bread
- Columbia Marathon
- Kings Mt. Marathon