Back in December, I was in a Keystone Montessori staff meeting with Keystone administrator/teacher Cathe and we were brain storming about a school fundraiser. One of the things that I immediately liked about Cathe when I first met her was her early and often expressed interest in making a Montessori education accessible to anyone that wanted one. She wanted to have a scholarship fund, and she wanted to raise the money in a way that was as inclusive as possible. Which is the shortest way to tell the story of how I became the race organizer of the 1st Annual Keystone Montessori “This is How I Roll” 5K.
I’d run enough road races to have a basic handle on what’s important to runners when it comes to deciding to run a race or not: cost, organization and an awesome tshirt. We set the entry price to the lowest one normally finds in the area, made a point of putting together a clean and informative website, and had a Keystone parent design our tshirts and decided to pay a little extra for dry-fit over cotton.
The nuts and bolts of the organization and promotion of the race were very involved – at times it was its own part-time job – though I had a lot of advice and support from John’s Run/Walk Shop who we hired to measure the course and time our 5K. Back in January, I sat down with Chuck at John’s Run/Walk Shop for over an hour talking through the logistics of how to run a great community 5K (the three keys to a great race basically boil down to Sponsors, Runners, Volunteers).
Just after my half-marathon last September, I started running with the Georgetown Run Club & Intellectual Society (which you should join if you live in Georgetown and run even a little). They were another great resource when it came to working through all the details of the race. They were also gracious about coming out and actually running the race, and collectively won a number of the overall and age-group awards!
|The Georgetown Run Club at the This is How I Roll 5K – From May 2011|
When it was all over, I felt like I had collectively organized my wedding and birthed a 9-pound baby all over again simultaneously (there’s a nice mental image…). I heard a lot of nice compliments on the race from both our ‘elite’ local runners as well as people who had never run a 5K before. People loved the dry-fit race tshirts and the refreshment table with fair trade coffee, organic bananas and Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits. I was glad too that the whole race wasn’t populated just by people I knew or that were connected through the Montessori community, but also by local running groups and others who thought it would be a nice race to run. We ended up having 114 people register and 105 people run, which is pretty good for a first-time 5K being run the same weekend as the Girls on the Run 5K.
We also had a children’s fun run following the 5K award ceremony. It was great seeing how many kids participated because they wanted to run a race just like their parents, grandparents or other special people in their lives. Anything to encourage an active lifestyle early on!
|Race organizer, first time 5K runner & Fun Run boys! From May 2011|
I’m hoping that all this work takes a step toward doing something positive for both the Montessori community in Georgetown and the families that want to be part of them as well as generally encouraging health and wellness in our small town. Montessori and running have done tremendous things for our boys and our family.