Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Halifax Movember Run - My first RD Gig

So in October 2010 my friend Mike Milloy and I thought it would be fun to host a Tweed ride for Movember. Nothing too crazy, just some people out having fun and raising awareness. A few emails here and there and then the thing kind of fell flat. By the time November / Movember actually gets here, it is way too late to do any planning..

Then came 2011 and October rolled around again (well late October by the time I noticed it was here). I was looking at a site which hosts signups for local races and noticed that New Brunswick was putting on a charity run in support of Movember. Well a few emails with Mike and we knew that it would be too late again to do anything that year, but this time we made a plan, 2012 would be the year we hosted a Movember sporting event to raise some funds for the cause.

We quickly knew that a fun run would be the easiest event to put together and would likely be the most inclusive type of event as well. We decided that we would start working on it come the summer of 2012 so that we could miss the rush of Mike's commitments to Movember and my heavy racing schedule.  

Well the summer came and the prep work began for our first ever hosting of a race. We wanted to keep it on the smaller side to make sure there was a better chance of things running smoothly.  We found a location for the run in Point Pleasant Park. This was great as many people run here, it has all the facilities you need built right in and it is central to downtown Halifax. So this was booked through the city (reasonable fees as well), then it was time to get things rolling.

Mike and I made lists, and lists and lists. We found some great local businesses to help us out with prizes and other important things. I mentioned most of those sponsors in my last post about this event, but I didn't get to add Java Blend Coffee Roasters, who were very gracious in donating 4 big thermoses of coffee which all disappeared. Thanks guys.

We finally organized a timing device. Originally we didn't think we would time the event, it being a fun run and all. But really, people want to know their time. We didn't want to pay for the fancy chip timing, though it would have been nice. With our rather small crowd of runners, it would have really eaten into our overall donation to Movember too much. Maybe if we get a huge crowd in the future we will go that way. So we had runners grab a numbered stick at the finish line and used a lap timer. It produced fine results, though requires 2 people to run the show.

The day before the event I spent running around and gathering the needed supplies. We also confirmed our volunteers. Volunteers, and good ones, are a must. And ours were great.

Day of, it was damp and drizzly, but warm for this time of year. We only had 2 no shows, but 2 walk ups and ended up with 75 racers in total. Not included in those numbers were 2 dogs and at least 2 strollers.

 Mike and Ian doing the race briefing, and almost on time as well! Only a few minutes late.
 Racers on the ready! Many in costume.
Look at them run!

Our first runner came in at a blazing fast time of 22.32 for 6K of hilly crusher dust trails. I expected nothing less of Andrew. It was very exciting to see 2 minutes later Patrick come blazing across the finish line having pushed a stroller with Zoe in it the whole way. Wow.

All of our runners and our Nordic Walker and our Chihuahua came in at under 1 hour, which was great. We had enough time in our park booking to allow for 2 hours, but with it being chilly and damp, faster was nicer.

Everything went off with no major problems. The course volunteers (we are told) kept everyone on course, our water table provided the turn around point and hydration, and our timing system worked flawlessly.

We also had great prizes, many draw prizes and some for overall winners.

Nicole Van Der Wal, our Overall Female winner in 27:17 and 9th overall

Andrew Dacany, 1st Place Male and 1st Overall, in 22:32

 The Works men, Best Costume
Patrick and Zoe, best couple runner up

And in all the excitement I seem to have forgotten who the best couple was?  Sorry. But they crossed the finish line holding hands, which was great.

In the end we raised $1800 for Movember and did so much of the work for next seasons race. In the future I would love to add more racers, but keeping it small and simple is a must. Otherwise I will never sleep for weeks leading up to the event, ha ha!

Thanks again to Sportwheels, Aerobics First, Hart and Thistle, You Place Hair Designers, Java Blend Coffee Roasters, Halifax Rainmen and Moksha Yoga. We couldn't have done it without you guys. 

And thanks to all the lovely Mo Sistas that showed up to run with the guys, many sporting great Mo's of their own. 

And too all the monsters that donned a Mo in the hopes that cookies might be available at the end of the run.