I sent two emails to the race asking if they needed volunteer help, but I never got a reply. Guess they really wanted quality help. Can't blame them.
Rocky Mount doesn't have too many races, so all of us in the running community try to support every race put on. This one is pretty neat . . . not as a run . . . but what the event does. Essentially, the race serves are the fund raising hub for local charities . . . the event organizers get matching funds for all contributions made to a local charity. So every charity in the area tries to get donors to make contributions through the event. Very neat!
Another neat thing about this event is that each charity sets up a booth on race day to show what their organization is all about. And lots of folks from the community come to be part of it all!
So as an event to benefit the community, there is none better!
But as a running event . . . well . . . let's just say it could be improved! But that doesn't really matter that much. The races themselves are not the real point of this event. But still, the run itself could be so much better . . .
So instead of driving to Rocky Mount to volunteer, I drove there and signed up for the 5k.
I didn't plan to really run very hard . . . and I didn't. I haven't done any speed work in months, so it made no sense to try and go all out. I was just there to have fun and run a little harder than normal.
Before things got started had a chance to see a lot of Rocky Mount folks I don't get to see all that often anymore. Lot's of fun. Plus, the Rocky Mount Endurance Club (RMEC) was out in force! Since I actually live an hour away, I don't often get to run with the group and see everyone so this is especially fun for me. I finally found Connie (or rather she found me!) before she when to her volunteer spot on Falls Road.
Brent Brondyke and I started together. Brent was doing the 10k and was also planning to take it easy as he has been having serious running issues. Lot's of fun catching up with Brent! We passed the first mile in 9:20. Faster than I had thought! I felt really comfortable . . . not like a normal 5k race!! Saw Connie just after the 1 mile point. The course headed into the park and at the split, Brent went his way and I went mine. Soon after I saw Margaret Bentley and we hung together for awhile. Just ahead we saw Eric Ghiloni and Margaret and I set our sights on catching up with him. Eric was having some stitch issues but luckily they passed and the three of us ran together until about the 2 1/2 mile point.
At the top of the little hill I decided it was 'go time' for me. I still didn't really push it, but I did pick it up. By the time I got to the finish line I was definitely tired. But the nice thing about a 5k is after 3 minutes and a drink of water I felt 100% recovered!
|Henry Forrester and Brandon Miller pushing to the finish|
|Ted Lord and his son about to finish the 5k|
I stayed for the awards ceremony where more of the race organization issues surfaced. Two 5k runners were declared winners of the overall 10k race so the folks that were the age group winners missed the public announcement of their wins. Too bad. I'm sure they sorted this out later, but still 'a swing and miss' for the race. One neat addition they did at the race this year . . . the overall winners (3 deep) got to award money ($50, $74 and $100) to the Rocky Mount charity of their choice! What a cool idea! Very nice tough!!
As great as this event is, I just can't figure out why they can't the the running part right. I'm guessing that non-runners are the planners. I'm sure they do get runner input, but this was their 3rd year. Issues should be worked out by now!