Many of us take our running pretty seriously and strive to get optimal performance out of our bodies each race or workout. Some of us use all sorts of products to enhance our performance or at least make it more survivable. GPS watches and heart rate monitors to zero in on optimal pace, special compression clothing to enhance muscular endurance, sweat wicking fabric shorts and shirts to keep cool and of course shoes with the latest lightweight foam midsole that will propel our feet faster than ever. Don’t forget the leder hosen and Alpine hat.
My friend, Kevin Love and his band or merry men and women known as the Running Tabs put on a race worthy of German costumes and post-race beer consumption. A course winding through Town of Tioga and ending near World of Beer isn’t a bad way to get in a race. The course was well marked and accurate so those who started drinking before the run didn’t get lost. The race registration included a nice pint glass and tickets for beer. The awards were fantastic. (Thanks Lloyd Clarke’s and Oakley!) Atmosphere after the race included a kid’s game area, music, and of course beer. The whole event struck a nice balance of a well-run, competitive race and a lot of fun.
Since Kevin and his crew set up a good balance, I decided to strike my own balance for the race. I ran hard, competed and took the running part seriously. I also wore a costume, had a beer with friends and completely enjoyed the whole event.
Here’s my note to Race Directors: Set the stage for the runners to have the full range of accomplishment, fun, competitiveness, social enjoyment and a unique atmosphere. If you hit all the bases well, you expand your audience. This race was a first time event and it was not run on a big budget. You don’t have to be a big event to pull it off. You don’t have to be an experienced race director to make it work. A lot of work is involved and having good teamwork with your core volunteers is essential. Gather your vision for an event; get some key people to buy into your event vision and then make it happen! I bet if you showed up at one of Kevin’s group runs, he’d be happy to log a few miles with you and give you his tips! The word is you can get priceless race director advice from him for the cost of a pint of beer.