Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cloudy with a chance of energy bars!

Quick - dodge that bar!

I was just sitting on my computer, doing some prep work for this weekend's Lake Union 10K and here comes my friendly Fedex guy who delivers a huge case of granola bars. I did not order them, I do not know who sent them. They just appear, out of nowhere. This is not the first time this has happened. In fact KIND Bars is officially on our access list to our storage unit and make frequent deliveries.

I think its awesome that food in massive quantity just gets delivered here at race headquarters. I feel like I am in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Only in my case its mostly energy bars, electrolyte drinks and other random samples. I just wish that it was more like ice cream or mac and cheese. But, hey, I guess I will take it and our participants sure appreciate all the free goodies too.

Plus, Lake Union 10K is catered by Portage Bay Cafe with french toast and a big bowl of whipped cream and berries. Now, that is something I can get behind and after all the work that goes into producing this race I feel as if I earn a swim inside that bowl of whipped cream! If it would only rain down some syrup.

See you on Sunday!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What I learned from my trip to Costco

For someone who doesn't like bananas, not even a little bit, I sure do buy a ton of them! In my humble opinion the banana is a slimy, nasty, smelly, sweet mushy mess in a peel. No thank you. Be that as it may it is still a popular item to eat after finishing a race. It is a cheap source of nutrition and easily distributed. So, I found myself at Costco yesterday buying bananas for the upcoming Move Mmore 5K on Sunday. I might as well buy the water bottles too, right? One thing I have learned from dealing in large quantities of bananas from Costco, they are almost always way too green when you get them in the store and you must purchase them days in advance or else you will be serving rock hard slimy, nasty, sweet piles of bananas. 

I have learned at Costco that folks are friendly and think they are really funny. It is always a game for me, how many comments can I get on my loaded down cart of bananas, water, huge quantities of pretzels and maybe some muffins for volunteers? Yesterday, three comments. Amongst the usual: 

"I guess you are thirsty!"
"Preparing for the zombie apocalypse?" 
"That's a lot of smoothies!"
"Throwing a party?" 

I usually respond with an overly sarcastic remark. Usual replies: 

"Nope, just watering the garden today"
"They are coming, don't you know?"
"Just feeding my pet gorilla!"
"Nope, just house fire protection." 

However, as I was using every bit of strength to get my very heavy cart up the slight hill towards my vehicle a couple approached and asked, "Which race are you putting on this weekend?" I almost hugged them! That was the first time someone had actually asked me the appropriate question. Turns out they were race directors too and had done this same slog at this very location before and answered the same inane questions above. 

Another thing I learned from my trip to Costco is that exactly 16 cases of Costco water will fit into a Kia. Anything heavier will rub against the tires. Please note for future zombie outbreaks! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Perks of the job

I am both a mug girl and a loyal customer and for both of these reasons I was rewarded by the universe with my new favorite mug from one of my favorite race day vendors! Of course I am friends with Honey Bucket on Facebook and of course I enter in their monthly contest to win this awesome mug and of course I never win it. The odds are slightly better than winning the lottery but I am still always up against hundreds of entries. As I was confirming our last event order I told my contact there that I have never won and then this arrived yesterday! It was wrapped in layers and layers of bubble wrap, nestled in a box, like a precious jewel. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if it was painted the iconic blue on the inside, mimicking the solution inside the real toilets. 

I cannot wait to casually bring this out for my next family gathering! 

Thank you Honey Bucket for my new favorite mug and most of all thank you for being a great vendor, always having our back and always having a sense of humor. I know our runners appreciate your services and our events would be a lot crappier without you (pun intended)!

I guess there are a few perks of being a race director. This mug and jars and jars of leftover peanut butter in my cupboard are amongst the top. 

Meanwhile, if you are interested in learning more about portable toilets, and who doesn't, here is a fantastic article about portable toilets as they relate to the race industry. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Almost Famous!

Well, that was a first! I was just recognized on the street. Granted, I was pulling up to Super Jock and Jill, lots of runners around, granted I was pulling signs out of my car for Good Karma 5K and 15K. But, still. To be stopped and asked if I was the Race Director from Lake Union 10K on Sunday? And then told how much fun she had at the race!? Well, I guess I am almost famous, amongst the community of runners in Seattle, who run races! I will take it!

Maybe I should hire a publicist. Next thing you know it's going to be paparazzi at my door! 

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things

I am one of those types of people that will write something on a list that I have just done just for the satisfaction of crossing it off the list. Crossing an item off the list is one of my favorite things as a race director.

I keep notebooks, I am a pen and paper kind of girl and each race we produce gets its own dedicated notebook at the beginning of the planning process. It is my race brain, everything that needs to get done, every contact, every issue, every meeting goes into these notebooks. There are several satisfying things about these notebooks.

At the beginning of the year, when all the pre-planning down season stuff is happening one of the things I love to do is to start a new notebook. I feel as if I am starting fresh. Each and every event gets almost all the same lists; Permit, insurance, porto-potties, update website, update volunteer sign ups.....Yet I get some sort of pleasure out of writing it all out, one by one. I think it is because I get to see the scope of work in front of me each year.

Which, makes the second satisfying thing about these notepads: Putting them away, blank at the end of each event. At the beginning of the year I have this huge stack on my desk, each laid out, so organized. As we tick off the events I tear out the pages, file them away with that year's file folder and stow away the notebook until next year's plans start afresh. One of my favorite things is seeing that pile on my desk dwindle as the year goes on.

The things that drive me crazy about these notebooks: The items I can't check off until the day before race day. Things like "Print out volunteer list" or "Buy volunteer food." I can't seem to stand the sight of unchecked items.

These are just a few of my favorite things! Others include giant jars of leftover Nutella from races!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Race Directors Make for Strange Neighbors

I work from home, which is one of the great things about my job. Some days it is all PJ's all the time. Like anything it has its benefits but also its downsides. But, that is not why I am posting today.

We have a great porch on our house, its at the front of the house. Its totally covered and it's big, it's where I do all my big projects and also it is used as temporary storage for race things. I realized today, as my very nice neighbors drove up, that Race Directors probably make for strange neighbors.

Most normal neighbors, if there is such a thing, have the occasional box being delivered, maybe they have a barking dog or are out doing yard work on a nice day. Me, however, I guess I am not normal a neighbor.

Strange hours (most race days I leave the house with my huge Uhaul packed with everything for race day around 2:00am), strange projects on the porch, always boxes being delivered, often times very very big ones that contain things like 10x10 canopies, and we get a lot of large quantities of items that hang out on the porch for a couple of days and then disappear. They must think that I am crazy, or just stalking up for a zombie apocalypse that they somehow missed.

Today, this is what my neighbors saw, me on the floor measuring the letters on this giant banner. Yard signs too.

A couple of weeks ago it was a row of 15 gorgeous cones, being marked with RFG on them (sorry I did not get a picture of that), a few weeks before that an entire pallet of water bottles, a couple of weeks before that was a sign on a cone in our driveway saying TURN AROUND (I was testing it for wind durability so it had to stay up for a couple of days).

Maybe I should go over there and offer them a couple of free race entries so they know what I am up to and they don't hate me when I rev up that Uhaul engine right outside their bedroom window for the next race at 3:00am. Or maybe I should go recruit their teens to come volunteer at an event, or could you just haul this water down the stairs for me!?

Sorry neighbors!

An Update:
This came in the mail today and now its in our driveway, being tested for wind durability. It's 15 feet tall. I guess the neighbors will know where to go to register. I am getting funny looks from the roofing crew across the way.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Things That Make This Race Director Giddy

Some might call me a geek, some a dork, particularly when it comes to all things cones. If you have been following this blog for any amount of time you will probably see what I am obsessed with cones, of all shapes or sizes. When I travel I tend to notice cones more than anything else. I take pictures of cones and ogle over foreign cones.

They are essential to the operations of an event. I use them to mark turns and when I do that I like to tape arrow or directional signs to those cones. I have been made fun of by numerous people by my extensive use of tape. Every race our guy that helps with course set up tells me there has to be a better way. I just could not think of any way to get those signs onto the cones, or up in any other fashion for that matter. The cones start to get sticky, the signs only last a few races before the tape accumulation becomes too much and they have to be thrown away. But, its effective and people do not get lost when I do it this way.

So for the last 5K I splurged and bought brand new, shiny, clean cones and I fell in love. I did not want to mess these ones up. But, I noticed one that had a little defect, a notch on top, a slit that would fit a laminated sign just exactly perfectly. I slipped it in and behold, it held, perfectly, without any tape. It was a breezy day so I left the set up outside to see if it would hold up to the wind. The next day I peaked outside and it was still standing! Could this really be happening? A new, better way!?

But, I did not know if I could cut a slit into cones, they are made out of pretty heavy duty materials. I found our exact-o knife and it slid through that rubber like butter. I placed a sign in my modified cone and it stayed, breeze and all.

My life has been revolutionized. I texted a picture to the guy that makes fun of me and was so excited I could not stand it.

I started thinking about it, realizing it would save me time on race mornings (tape can take some time to cut and get right), save money on tape, preserve my precious cones, preserve our signs and be much cleaner and even more eye catching than before. Plus no more tape for breakfast when I can't find the scissors. I was positively giddy! How could I have not of thought of this before?

Here are the new and improved signs you will see at the next Run for Good Racing event! Ooooh, how pretty!!! Doesn't that make you giddy too!? No? Just me I guess!