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Ready, set, run!

Ready, set, run!
And they're off!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rain, rain....don't rain on my parade!!!

Here's the post race update from last weeks Arizona Trail Race. Not the one with who won what, but the one with the working details. After some initial set-up on Friday and busting a water line at the start/finish line with our fence posts, we came back out bright and early on Sunday morning to finish set-up.  Pete Snell, Will Conway, Jeff Balmat and myself met up at the course bright and early at 4:15 a.m.  It was raining all over Tucson, EXCEPT at La Posta Quemada Ranch.  The stars and moon were in their brightest glory and so were we.  It was even kind of warm out, unlike years past.  In no time we had everything out of the van, start/finish line blown up and standing tall, water stations prep'd, banners up, everything set to go with plenty of time to spare!  At 7:30 a.m. the race took off after the beautiful singing of the national anthem performed by Salpointe junior Jessica Amerson (thanks Jessica!) and still the morning was free of the wet stuff.  That is, until 8:30 when the rain started to pour.  Boy, did I feel bad for those runners still out on the course as it started to get cold, too, especially coming down that last 1/2 mile.  The one thing I appreciate about the people who run in our races is that they always have a great attitude and, at this race, it was no exception. And, boy was it wet!

Once the race ended and everyone ran to their cars, except the brave who waited for their awesome tile awards, it was up to me and the Fleet Feet staff and volunteers to tear down as fast as possible.  The biggest problem was that everything had to be put away wet and that meant me and my wife drying everything out at home.  I rolled into our driveway at 11:30 a.m. after the race and worked five straight hours cleaning and drying everything by hand, including the 30 foot start/finish line inflatable arch, the plastic pennant flags and the 60 feet of snow fencing. Mostly done in time for the Super Bowl and a bunch of cold Moosehead! Finally on Monday everything was clean and put away for the March 13 Midtown Sertoma 5k at the AZ School for the Deaf & Blind (better not rain that day!).

So, what did I learn from all of this.  Number one, our runners are the best and most appreciative.  Two, our staff is top notch.  Thanks to Dave Barger (photographer), Rik Medrin (DJ) and Greg Wenneborg (timer) for exposing themselves and their expensive equipment to the soaking wettness of the day.  Three, I'm glad I live in Tucson.  This is only the 2nd time out of 19 races that we have ever been rained on.  I'll be happy if we can go 4 for 38!

See you all on March 13 for the Midtown Sertoma 5k and on April 13 for the Catalina St. Park Trail Run.  All event details and sign-up are at  Time for me to go for a run.  Adios!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do you run in your own events?

That's the one question I'm asked all the time.  It's a harmless question asked by people who want to know if I'm really a big time runner, since I own a running company.  The answer is simple: it's totally impossible to run in my own events and I do like to run, so I run each course a few weeks before reace day.  This way I can make sure that you all have a fun and safe course.  Organizing and producing a successful event is a 110% hands on endeavor.  We typically set-up the day before and then arrive to the venue by 2:00 a.m. and finish up on-site around noon.  Then we head home to unload all of the event gear, clean it and then load it back up in the storage space.  Then it's nap time and then bring the van back to the rental folks.  If you've ever seen me at one of our events, I'm doing everything from driving fence posts to hang our snow fencing to setting up the start/finish line, tending to staff injuries (yes, my son really did hit himself over the head with a fence post driver - $450 to urgent care!), greeting our runners, acting as a course monitor, putting out multiple fires/issues, presenting awards, cleaning out garbage from the "recyclables only" garbage boxes and a whole lot more in-between.  With no sleep for about 34 hours there's no way to run within a weeks time before the race.  Race week is quite the exhausting experience.  If you think running a marathon is tough, come join us if you dare!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Three race management and preparing for the AZ Trail Race

It's a three-fecta over the next three months.  Three races/events to manage and execute on February 7, March 13 and April 10.  I'm not sure how many of you know, but I'm the only employee of Everyone Runs.  It's my company and, up until a few days before each race, I am pretty much the only one doing event prep.  Luckily the Fleet Feet AZ Trail Race is a joint effort between ER and Fleet Feet, so I have a lot of partnership with Pete & Jeanne and their staff.

This week revolved around the mundane of entering last minute entries, securing our medics and being a part of Sunday's practice race at the AZ Trail.  We had a strong showing, with at least 50 runners making a wise choice to get used to this very tough trail run course prior to next Sunday.  These runners now have a good idea of what to do on race day and how to manage their run.  Big thanks to Jim Magnum for his advice to all of the runners.  I hung back to make sure no one got lost, but was able to run a good pace on the last few miles with "Pete Fleet Feet."

In this final week before the race I will have a lot of "to do's" to do.  Everything from printing the runner bibs, sending the final roster to our timer (Greg Wenneborg), getting packet pick-up organized, communicating details with all of our awesome volunteers, picking up the water and bananas, cleaning and packing all of my event gear in the rental van, filling water jugs, making sure all of those lovely porta potties are placed close by, setting up the start/finish line/post-race festival and waking up at 3:00 a.m. to make the 45 mile drive from my house to Colossal Cave.  There's a lot more stuff in-between these lines, but the effort is all worth it when I see how much fun all of you have had once you cross the finish line.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Arizona Trail Race

The Arizona Trail Race is just two weeks aways.  That means lots of pre-race work this week:
print bib labels, secure water, finalize race roster, clean start/finish line arch, pick-up final entries at Fleet Feet, deliver permits to the folks at Colossal Cave, send emails to participants about packet pick-up, post those details to the web site, send out event press release to the media, and also concentrate on the marketing for the Midtown sertoma 5k on March 13.  Tomorrow we have an event "pep-rally" to get the Sertoma board members pumped up.  More later.

The life of a race director

I'm Steve Landau, race director of Everyone Runs, in Tucson. In 2004 I left my advertising career and with my family started Everyone Runs. No, it wasn't a mid-life crisis - ok, maybe. I tired of perpetuating free enterprise and needed to give back. We have supported many in need, while helping people achieve better health & fitness. In my blog I will write of what we're doing to make a race happen. Please let me know if you would like any other content and I'll do my best to oblige.