What’s up everyone – Happy Weekend! June has been a busy month for me and for In A Heartbeat! Last weekend we hosted our first ever 5K Road Race in Wallingford, CT. The planning and organizing process was a roller coaster ride to say the least!
We had our first board meeting of 2018 back in January and one of our Board of Directors likes to participate in races. He also happens to be a sudden cardiac arrest survivor. During the meeting he said at one of his races, he would like to run with an AED on his back to raise awareness of them. Somehow, that conversation turned into us hosting our own race.
Like always, I jumped on board with this. I love trying new things and planning new events to raise more awareness to different groups of people about what we do with In A Heartbeat. The road race was a demographic of people we had not hit yet. We have our golf tournament we run in Wallingford and we have our harbor cruise we host in Boston but this was another way to attract more of a following to In A Heartbeat. We left the meeting and agreed to host the race during CPR/AED Awareness Week (June 1-7).
Similar to what I did prior to hosting our first golf tournament, after the meeting I went to GOOGLE and searched, “How to Organize A 5K Road Race.” It took a lot of research online and phone calls to other race organizers to really have an idea of where to start but we were off and running with it. We hired a timing company, we booked a site, and started our marketing to acquire sponsors and runners.
As the race quickly approached our registration seemed to be stagnant. No one was registering. I was begging people. I didn’t understand why no one was registering for our race. About 3 weeks from the race, we had about 50 people registered. We were doing everything from posting to social media, hanging signs in the road, sending out emails, and calling different running groups. Nothing was working….at least that is what I thought.
I called members from our board to have conversations about possibly cancelling the race. I didn’t want people to show up and have our race be embarrassingly small. They all convinced me to hang in there and see what happens.
Suddenly about a week and a half before the race we hit 100 runners. I was satisfied with 100. I was just happy it wouldn’t feel empty. That is just when the excitement started. It seemed like every day we had 15 new people register. We jumped from 100 to 150 quickly. I had to order more shirts (a good problem to have). 150 became 175 and 175 became 200. We ended online registration with 225 people registered. I couldn’t believe it.
When race day came we were ready and organized. We got to the site about 3 hours prior to set up the food, water, and games for the participants to play before and after the race.
We had no idea that 68 people would show up and register on the day of the race! Another good problem to have. We finished with 293 registered participants. The race went off at 10:00 a.m. and finished around 11:00 a.m. with the walkers. We received tons of positive compliments about the organization of the event, the route, and the race in general. It proved to be a HUGE success.
Like anything, we have areas to improve on for next year. We have a goal to beat (293 runners). We have something to grow and to make better.
This whole process reminded me of the important of PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE. These two words are so crucial to any goal or dream any of us have in our lives. We have to stay persistent and work at them each and every day and stay patient knowing that we will not reach our dreams or goals overnight. It is going to take time, sometimes more time than we want it to.
Never cancel, never quit, and never stop going after your goals and dreams….you have the right to make them come true…