Tuesday, December 24, 2019

2019 - The Year of the Race Organiser

So I have been volunteering at events for awhile, helping out and over the last few year I also took on organising a charity race for Movember. This year I took it to a new level.

It started in December 2017 actually when Luke MacDonald noticed that donations to the Terry Fox Foundation were to be doubled (then tripled by Aerobics First). While giant charity events can be great things, Luke has been a big fan of the small event, someway for the individual to make a difference.

So Luke contacted me and asked how we could get some sort of event going. His idea was to take his local 5K run route and make it an event, then somehow get others to do the same. So the My Home Course Event  style of micro charity run/race was now well underway. 

I helped with the logistics of setting up the registration, the timing system, and the Facebook event page. We gave ourselves lots of lee time, with the event taking place in April.

This time around, I organised then got to take part. I had a great run on Luke's course as he lead me through the turns, while the Team in Training Crew helped volunteer as course marshals. It was a great small event. 

Our event rubbed off on Craig as he decided we had the perfect 5K home course right in our back yard on the BLT Trail. Taking the notion of a quick turn around for these events, we immediately started to organise with the help of Scott and Nicole. Less than a month after the first event, My Home Course was back, again raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation.

We brought in the concept of Chips and Timing as well (a nod to chip timing) offering  a bag of chips as runners finished. We had another great turn out, many from our own run club. This time I stepped up to Race Director as well.

Stepping away from the run scene, I also love cycling. I lead a group trail ride weekly all summer long. But for two years now, my friend Sheldon and I have gotten into event organising as we have put together a non competitive 65km Sportive ride. The event goal is to provide a safe ride for people that want to push their limits while keeping the cost low. Year 2 saw an increase in riders and great weather.

With little time to rest, I was also working on a more competitive Canicross event.  This event also saw an increase in participation as the growth of competitive harness dog sports continues in the Maritimes. I am really proud to be able to help grow this sport by hosting canine friendly events, and for this year we donated all proceeds to the Disaster Animal Response Team of Nova Scotia. 

The main event for me each year has to be the Movember Run. This is a slightly bigger event with a turn out of 100 runners, split between people only and canicross. This was our 8th year and we donated almost $3300 and over $23000 over the whole 8 years.  I am proud of the community support this event has continued to draw out and it is great working with my friend Mike in getting this event rolling each year. 

So with the main event over, I was ready for a rest. But can one truly ever get a rest? I received an email stating that Prostate Cancer Canada was having a donation matching month, with every dollar donated tripled by a National Labour Union. With little time to spare, I brought back Craig and we got a new My Home Course Event 5K up and running with some volunteer help from Nicole and Elizabeth. We did this one in a single week, and while the total donation amount isn't exactly known, we do know that we are directly responsible for over $1200 going to Prostate Cancer Canada.

The run went well, some runners pushing hard, others having a good fun run and chat. 

 So, with 2019 coming to an end, I just had to have a quick look back and I am really happy with the work I and my cohorts have accomplished this year. We got people active, we raised funds for charities, we offered opportunities for those that don't get to race or ride often with groups. We also hopefully have planted a seed in the form of micro charity events. Again, large events that bring in big sums with flair and excitement are great, but so much can also be achieved on the local level.