Friday, September 26, 2008

Family Triathlon- From an Organizer's Perspective!

Well, I have just spent the last 3 hours looking through pictures of smiling, happy, active families! This was one of the most enjoyable races I have ever been involved in. This was my first attempt at organizing a race. I don't usually pick to be in charge, but when the idea was brought to our school's parent meeting, no one else jumped to volunteer. I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea and I wanted to see it happen!
We originally planned for it to be in the spring, but our YMCA where we were to have the race wanted to do it with their 10 year anniversary celebration. This gave us 3 months to plan! What a crazy, exciting, difficult, stretching ride it has been. I learned so much about races and about myself.
So, the event is a noncompetitive, family friendly triathlon. The distances were a 50yard swim(there and back in the pool), 2 mile bike ride, followed by a 1/2 mile run. The premise was having an event that encouraged families to be active together. We wanted the littlest members as well as the oldest members to participate.
My goal was for everyone to have a great time. We had music, food, prizes and even Jamba Juice was kind enough to donate free Jamba Juice!
There were some gliches along the way, but I am very pleased with how it all turned out. We had some great resources, I even was able to get a finish banner and flags from Endre! I am so grateful I had the support of good friends who participated and one especially (Thanks Molly!) who saved me at the end with some of the last minute details. It was so fun watching SuziePetunia, FoxontheRun, and Smith run in together with their cute families. After all the races their families have supported them on, I am sure they loved taking part this time!

Things I learned:
1. Don't wait until the last minute to register for a race. It makes it tough to plan for the number of participants!
2. Wear your bib#. It makes it tough to locate your picture if you don't have your #on!
3. It takes a lot of volunteers to make a race run smoothly.
4. There is much more going on behind the scenes than you realize.
5. People are willing to pitch in at the last minute! (Thanks Ranell!)
6. Admit when you make mistakes.
7. Parking lots are a scary place to have part of a bike race.
8. It makes me nervous watching kids bike downhill.
9. Always do your best and it will work out in the end!

Thanks to everyone who helped! The only thing missing- my family. :-( Due to scheduling conflicts they were not able to be there. Next year, I will watch them run through the finish!
It is finished, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! My favorite quote from a participant,
"My favorite part was running behind my 5-year-old (my youngest of the 3 children that participated) as he sprinted toward the finish line. I have never seen such determination and strength from such a young child. It brought tears to my eyes! I will remember that moment forever."
This is why we did the event!


Alicia said...

How fun! What a wonderful idea. Come do one in Utah. :)

rebecca said...

LOVE it! Was this a school fundraising event? I am very interested. I'm so over the school asking us to buy junk from magazines several times each year. A triathlon would be much cooler! I would love to put one together, in theory. But if I start thinking about the actual work involved . . .

erinmalia said...

so fun. i would LOVE planning something like this. it's so up my alley.

foxontherun said...

Thanks Kelly for planning such a wonderful event.

Keekee said...

Your event was such a cool idea, what a great concept. I would love to think of something for around where I live. I may have to pick your brain :)

amydear said...

That's so sad your kids couldn't run. Are you going to be in charge next year? This looks like a lot of work, and a lot of fun. Congrats on a good event.

Suzie Petunia said...

It was one of the most enjoyable racing events I have ever participated in! For a mom that loves to run and exercise, it was beyond-fun to share that with my whole family for once! Thanks for all your work, Kelly. You did an AMAZING job, and no one (including myself) noticed any glitches. We just had fun!