Thursday, October 14, 2010

Like I Wasn't Busy Enough, Excited for New Year's Day Half Marathon - 1/1/11 - Allen, TX

On December 1, I'm going to give birth to my second daughter.  I have to have a C-Section this time which has been a little concerning to me because I'm an impatient runner and want a fast recovery time, but considering I broke my tailbone the last time I gave birth, I'm not sure I think it can be any worse than that.

But there's still the reality of taking it physically "easy" for 6 weeks before getting back to the swing of things slowly. So then there's no rational reason I would decide to put on a new race on New Year's Day, 4 weeks after having the baby.

The idea had been rolling around in my head since around June.  I wanted to do a new race, and I knew I wanted to do it in my own town of Allen, Texas (a suburb of Dallas, TX), and I knew I wanted to do my favorite racing distance, the half marathon.  And I kept having this thought popping into my head about the fact that this New Year's would be such a unique date - 1/1/11.  I told my husband, "I just think it would look so awesome on a finisher medal or an event shirt!" New Year's also had so few races going on in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex according to the race calendars, so I knew I wouldn't be making runners choose between this event and an event any friends or other race directors were putting on.

So as irrational as the timing may seem, I kept going back to feeling like it just needed to be done.  Sitting down with my ever supportive husband, because I couldn't do it without him, we agreed that we would need to ensure the event was kept at a size that would
  1. Be manageable for me to work out all the logistics with a newborn at home
  2. Be able to support with volunteers, which we didn't know how many we could get for a holiday morning.
So I arbitrarily settled on a limit of 200.  Having directed half marathons of 4500 runners and walkers, what a different scale a race of 200 is! But the size is perfect for why this race was developed.  As much as everyone signing up wants to kick off the new year's the right way, I thought it would be a great way for me to kick off my new year - doing what I love providing a conduit for people to get active and feel good.  I wanted it to be small and fun, kinda intimate in its size, and keep it as affordable as possible for a small race and hopefully break even on the expenses I personally incurred to make the event happen.

I'm keeping the focus on the things people have enjoyed seeing at races I help produce - nice custom race bibs that make good mementos, an event technical shirt rather than a t-shirt that runners will want to wear on future training runs, and a nice finisher medal.

After directing races with confusing names for years, I went with the most explanatory name ever: New Year's Day Half Marathon! You see back in 2006, the Dallas Running Club board, of which I was one member of, rebranded its big established half marathon from "The Half" (which was causing confusion with "half of what" and various other comments) to the Dallas Running Club Half Marathon, at the same time that the club's name had changed to DRC from Cross Country Club of Dallas.  Rebranding is an interesting transition for a race, but it generally went well. 

Separately, directing Heels and Hills Half Marathon events cause race founder Paula and me to answer lots of questions about "Do I have to run it in heels?" (No, it's just a women-focused fitness organization!) and "Is it really hilly?" (No, the hills were removed with our new course 2 years ago!), so I just wanted a race name that didn't ever have to come with any explanation.  Yeah, might not be creative, but you know exactly what you are looking at with it.

Anyway, I had all my ducks in a row a couple weeks ago and opened registration.  I put the race on a couple local online race calendars and put out the word via my Facebook page to all my runner friends.  The price structure has the entry fees being based on how many have already registered.  So the entry fee starts at $50 for the first 50 runners, and then goes up $5 every 50 registrants until it sells out at 200.

Within 26 hours of opening registration, there were 50 registrants.  And after a week of registrations, the race was almost half filled.  And at the time of this post, the race is 90% full with less than 20 slots left!  This presents what would be a nice side effect of the smaller race field, having the race sell out before the baby comes so I'm not having to process new registrations post-partum!

So I'm excited about this new race.  And if you would like to do a half marathon, I hope you'll consider coming out and having some fun New Year's Day morning in the DFW metro area with me.  It's going to be a great chance to start the new year the active way - to kick the New Year in the booty and tell 2011 who's boss!

If you don't want to run it, I will be searching for volunteers. I will need them.  I can't pick up anything more than an 8 lb. baby at that point, so I'll need aid station and finish line help!

Regardless of running it or not, of registering for it or not, of volunteering at it or not, please "like" the Facebook fan page, so word of the event can spread for 2012, with won't present the same limiting factor (new baby) that caused the 2011 race cap.

Happy Running!