Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Inaugural Saucon Rail Trail 10K - Race Director Report!

Well, yesterday some idea that Lauren and I came up with over dinner one night in June came to fruition.   "Why don't we do a running race on the Saucon Rail Trail, it's such a great trail and there hasn't been an event on it yet?"  So next thing you know we're discussing the race before Park and Recreation Commissions, Rail Trail Oversight Commissions, PennDOT, etc.

Our goals were simple:  Create a community event that showcased the excellent recreation features we have around us, put on a great event that participants will feel that they were special and to raise money for the HCM Foundation.
This made the race official and kicked off online registration.  Got us pretty excited to boot!
 We wanted to not only showcase the local features we've got, but to support the local community as well.  Our goal was to use as many local (or PA) businesses as possible.  A Coopersburg company did the event signs, a local friend did the awards, a local business made the shirts, A-Treat soda and Turkey Hill Ice Cream combined for Root Beer Floats, Saucon Valley Bikes provided the lead bike support, Bagel Basket donated the bagels, event socks were ordered through a PA company (www.mycustomsocks.com) and so on.
Upper Saucon Park served as the event HQ...beautiful Pavilion, Rail Trail access, playground, etc.
 The pieces of the puzzle were coming together.  There's no better way to give back to a sport you love or the community than to give back.  And that's a message I hope rings loudly with our children as they grow up.  Take a step back, thing about others and not yourself, step out of the box.
The kids pre-race.  Daniel was all business....
 We had set a limit on registration to 300.  Being the first event on the trail we were unsure how well it could handle a large volume of runners.  By race day we had more than sold out, 330 registrations.  We were overwhelmed by the support from the running community.  We had some incredible volunteers including 30 runners from the Southern Lehigh Cross Country Team staffing the water stop (miles 2 and 3.75) and an incredible group of 20+ family and friends.  The volunteers make the race happen, and they did yesterday despite of weather.
I love this shot, the rain was just starting to fall.  Thank you to our event photographer, Andrea Thrush!
And the skies opened up, as a sort of Christening for this first time event.
And they were off into the distance.  Joshua and I headed back to the pavilion to await the finishers.
 Back at the pavilion the rain had stopped and the families and friends were assembling.  We organized everything in anticipation of the mad rush of thirsty, hungry runners.  Our crew of volunteers did a great job.  When was the last time you had a Root Beer Float after a race?  Add some fruit, fresh Bagel Basket Bagels and COOKIES and you've got a pretty good post race feast!
Not only did the volunteers make the event, but we had some incredible sponsors...

The awards were authentic RR spikes that were taken from the old railroad.  
Top overall winners (open and master) won cash and Brooks Running shoes
We had a great crowd that stuck around for the awards and the food...
 All totaled we had over 300 finishers.  My wife did an incredible job planning the post race spread and taking charge of organizing all of the race day logistics under the pavilion.  She was the mastermind behind the colors of the shirts and the popular female cut shirts for the ladies.  I'm blessed to have a great partner in crime.

We raised over $5,500 net.  We will be donating money back to the Saucon Rail Trail Oversight Commission and Upper Saucon Township who took a leap of faith and allowed this event to go off.  And the HCM Foundation will get the remaining $5,000 in proceeds to help local families deal with the effects of cancer.

And I've gotta thank each and every sponsor.  Brooks Running, Powerbar, Physical Therapy at St. Lukes, Lamprey Systems, ORE Tool Rental, Bagel Basket, Runners World Magazine, Turkey Hill Ice Cream, A-Treat bottling, Giant, Weis, Fresh Market, Road ID, Saucon Valley Bikes, Aardvark Sports Shop, Finish Line Running Store, Emerald Carpet and Flooring and The Pidcock Company.

And thank you to every runner who came out and supported the event.

My shirt says it all (in the middle of young and old(er)) "I Love Running"

1 comment:

  1. Chris, that's awesome that you had such success the first year! Looks like this is going to be an amazing annual event! :) Congrats!