Monday, May 24, 2010

Fargo Marathon Weekend - Part 1: Youth Run





Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Fargo Youth Run: 1/2 mile and 1 mile run (ages 12 and under)

For the past couple of years I have taken part in the Fargo Marathon as a race participant but wanted to do more. So, when I overhead one of our gym teacherss talking about the Fargo Youth Run Committee last year, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I told her I was interested if they needed more help. Flash forward about 7 months and the Youth Run Committee met to begin preparing for the 2010 event, with an additional member, muah. I jumped in head first and learned first-hand how much work really goes into putting something of this multitude together!

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

38 comments:

Kathleen (Getting Healthy with Bubba and Bellie) said...

Sounds like an amazing event!

I personally can't imagine being upset at someone for checking my ID to pick up my child, but it sure doesn't surprise me that there were difficult parents. I'm glad they didn't spoil the experience for you.

RockStarTri said...

The parents are always the worst. Kudus to you and the other committee folks for a job well done.

Firefly's Running said...

Awesome job!!

sunapeegirl said...

Sounds like a great event! I bet a lot of work went into planning it!
The race I participated in Sunday had a "kids fun run" before it and it was awesome to see all the kids get excited about running! I think its such a great way to get kids into running and living active lifestyles at a young age. I wish I had raced when I was little, then again I was so busy playing other sports. Either way, I found racing eventually!

Lindsay said...

Sounds like and awesome event! Great job :)

MCM Mama said...

Awesome job! Sounds like a great event!

Nobel4Lit said...

I am hoping to do the Fargo Marathon next year!! Sounds like the atmosphere is fun!

Erika said...

What a totally fun event! my monkeys would love to do something like that! Great work!

Colleen said...

Wow!!! Huge kudos to you! 2500 kids is an amazing turn out! And good for you for sticking your ground with the crappy parents!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

What a fun event! Good for you for volunteering!

Holly said...

YAY for the Youth Run! Sounds like a great event to volunteer for!

Carly said...

That race sounds awesome. I actually like that you all had the forethought to have such safety precautions in place. I did a kid's race once, and although smaller, there was no such safety measures. Can't wait to hear how your races went!

Michelle said...

So awesome that you are giving back! What a great event. Love the safety measures with the matching bib numbers. Great idea.

James said...

Sounds like a fun event!

Wes said...

Yea, I knew you was a tough chica... For the kids!! :-)

Beth said...

Great volunteering! And how cool is that to hear 2500 kids participated. Just makes my day to hear things like this!!!!

Marlene said...

Sounds like it was great to be involved in. Good for you for volunteering!

Jess said...

Sounds like the race was a definite success. I'm glad the kids had fun and you managed to keep the parents in line.

D10 said...

What an amazing turnout! Great job. Events like this do take a lot of effort to pull off.

Oh and parents, I don't get it. They should know better.

Melissa said...

Doing stuff with kids would be so much better if some of them had spontaneously generated themselves.

Amy said...

Sounds like a great event! Good for you for getting involved to see it come together from start to finish!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

This is is just cool!! And a huge THANK YOU for taking the time and volunteering to make this work, I am a stronger believer in giving back to the sport, and it doesnt get any better then this.

Shannon said...

Wow! It is really inspiring to see how many kids you got involved in this. Sounds like a success to me!

Julie said...

God bless the volunteers! I think it is great that you volunteered for this! I really enjoy volunteering and would like to do it at least once a year:) Also, way to put up with the parents...I know that they can be difficult:)

My Life and Running said...

What a fantastic event to take part in!

Scott Keeps Running said...

Wonderful :)

Jamie said...

It sounds like you had a great time. Can't wait to hear about the marathon! :)

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...

Wow, what an amazing event!! How inspiring for so many kids :)

Kelly said...

That's such a cool event to help organize! I love anything that helps kids get involved in being healthy :)

utmomof 5 said...

Oh cool of you to volunteer!! Sounds like an amazing event :)

Badgergirl said...

Sounds like a great event with amazing turnout!

Melissa said...

That is so fabulous of you! I would love to organize something like this! I think that it's so important for kids to get up off the couch and get some physical activity in!

onelittletrigirl said...

Difficult parents are everywhere! You did a great thing- AWESOME!

Tricia said...

sounds like a great event

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

What a great event! Very cool! i'm inspired. and complete kudos to you for keeping the rules in place w/kid pick up.

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