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Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Runners Like

If I have one more conversation this week that starts with "what do runners like" I think I am going to hurl a running shoe at someone.  Just a heads up, running in a race is officially 1397x easier than running a race.  (that is a technical analysis of how much more annoying it is for me.) I never knew you could have this many conversations about Porta Potties and this is coming from a girl who talks about toilets as part of my regular job!  Yeah, 2 weeks ago I was on a conference panel entitled Urinal Wars, how many girls can say that?  In case you are wondering if your race venue has 2 public restrooms and there are at least 5 stalls is each women's restroom then the tipping point for Porta Potties is 200 race registrants.  Also on a purely academic note, men don't count in this calculation, as long as there are trees or urinals.  I am sensing an unsettling thread in my career, but that is fodder for another day!

A little over a year ago I was on a conference call and I heard the Arizona Municipal Water Association talk about their run for water to celebrate USEPA WaterSense Fix a Leak Week.  I immediately thought "Atlanta runs why don't we do that?"  Now for those of you benefiting from reading this before you decide to hold a race.  I should have thought "what a cool idea.  Good for them."  But I didn't otherwise this blog post would be about something far more intriguing like the debate of peanut butter vs. almond butter.  BTW - Always peanut butter.  So here we are.  Fix a Leak Week starts Monday March 18, 2013, and 300 runners are set to kick it off at the First Annual Water Drop Dash 5K and Family Water Festival on Saturday.  We have 40 Metro Atlanta Water Utilities with booths and displays, games and prizes for families. For those from the outside it looks like we got this idea and then abracadabra we head out Saturday morning with some T-shirts and a few medals and everyone celebrates water end of story. 

In reality over a year ago we combed through proposals for a race coordinator, who we hired only to be given the one page list they would accomplish and the 750 page manifesto we would be responsible for accomplishing.  As we turn page 748 of the manifesto I believe we are nearing our finish line.  On Saturday we will achieve what I set out, only a year ago believing to be easy.  300 Atlantans running alongside their drinking water source (Chattahoochee River), on a beautiful Saturday, celebrating water, teaching their kids about the importance of resource stewardship, and walking away with a T-shirt to remind them water isn't limitless.  What I did not count on was how much wine I and my fellow organizers would be consuming Saturday afternoon.

In closing, my point was, thank the organizers of your next race.  It is a lot harder than the effortless event it appears to be from the starting line.  Also just for the record: where do runners like to get their post race awards? Gatorade or Powerade? Trail or road? Cops and medic?  Water at the start and finish? Bottled water or cups? Tech shirt or cotton?  Chip time or clock time?  Bananas or Bagels?

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