Fargo Youth Run: 1/2 mile and 1 mile run (ages 12 and under)
The committee was made up of about ten people, including our wonderful race director, a few elementary gym teachers, a retired teacher, a couple parents, and of course me. During our first meeting, we discussed the idea and purpose behind the Youth Run - inspiring the young to build healthy and active lifetyles. The Youth Run would be the event to kick-off the marathon weekend. It all begins with our youth, right? They are our future. Far too many kids are facing health challenges, particularily childhood obesity and diabetes, and this was a great reminder to kids and parents how important a healthy lifestyle is.
By Sunday of last week, 5 days before the Youth Run, we had approximate 1,200 kids pre-registered. Registration would be open until 5pm Thursday evening, with the hopes that our numbers would double.
I left work early Thursday afternoon to get to the site of the Youth Run and help with set-up and other odds and ends. I, with the help of another committee member were in charge of the finishing corral. Thank goodness we had the help of about 15 other volunteers and a dozen Boy Scouts. Thank you all for volunteering your time and helping out! We wouldn't have been able to do this, successfully, without you!
Both the 1/2 mile and 1 mile races were out and back routes. After crossing the finish line, the kids would be corralled into the fenced-in football feild about 25 yards from the finish line. The kids would come in through one end, grab their water and finisher medal, and be guided to the other side of the field where the parents would be able to pick them up. We had high security here, specifically at the end where the parents were able to pick up their child, with the help of police officers. Parents were required to show their matching bib numbers to pick up their child. I was working the other end, trying make sure parents weren't jumping the bike racks or trying to help their children climb over them. I had about 5 parents extremely upset with me for not letting them in or out without proof of identity. Being the loud and bossy person I can be, I stood my ground, for the safety of not just their children, but the other children on the field. Why is it hard for some parents to understand that we had things set up like this for the safetly of their child(ren)?
Asside from a handful of difficult parents, I would like to say things went pretty darn well. I don't know the exact number of kids that finished the race, but I do know that we had close to 2,500 kids participating! The weather was great - in the high 70's with a nice breeze. Almost every child finished the race with a smile on their face. It was such a great event to be a part of and help organize! I look forward to helping out again, next year!
*Next post: Fargo Marthon Weekend - Part 2: 5K/10K GoFar Challenge