Note from RD
Did you ever want to be part of something big?
Every year for the past ten years at this time my wife's birthday rolls around, and every year it gets pushed to the back burner and she extends her patience with me. You see it always collides with the Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5k. We all know that Randy has directed more races and events than Wilt Chamberlain had dates. It is in his DNA. Not mine. My Running Fit DNA has always been about the stores and keeping the doors open and shoe shelves stocked. Except for this one event I backed into directing some ten years ago.
Directing an event can be like hosting a party. Most of the work is done in advance and by a team of experts that one, well...directs. The director's job is mainly to get out of the way and let people do their job. And maybe to worry a lot. Worry that people will show up and trains crossing the course won't. Cross fingers that the guy delivering the 20 port-a-johns remembered to set his clock up an hour. A director checks the weather forecast every 20 minutes for six days. They hope their volunteers sign up and arrive on time. We pray every runner and walker makes it to the starting and finish line safely. I don't know about other race directors, but in the final nights leading up to race day I can't help lying in bed wide awake thinking "this is my last year doing this". Race day arrives and there is a short period of calm in the early morning as the first volunteers wander in sleepy and looking for coffee and you think this isn't too bad. But that moment dissolves like the sugar in their coffee and soon a flurry of action begins and hours turn to minutes. A circus appears seemingly out of nowhere.
There is always a wrinkle, something needs immediate attention and I hear the coaches cliché "failure to prepare is preparing to fail". But we did prepare. And our volunteers from our local High Schools, Mott Hospital, our neighbors, AAPD, and even Running Fit staff, working off the clock, dish me assist after assist like Magic to Kareem during show time. Then the national anthem is played by yet another volunteer and over 1500 runners raced, ran, and strolled around downtown Ann Arbor out to the big house and back. 75 little ones dashed to the finish line with total abandon, full of adrenaline and joy. 200 Kids and a few "kids at the heart" tackled one kilometer of hills, turns, with determination of an Olympian.
And I feel like I am part of something big. And I got to get my wife a card.
Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5K donates 100% of the proceeds to the Save A Heart program at UM Mott Children's Hospital Congenital Heart Center. Over the years this event has raised over a half million dollars. This could not happen without all the participants, volunteers, professionals like AAPD and sponsors for making a big difference literally in the hearts and lives of the patients and families at Mott. Thank you.
To learn more about Save A Heart, click HERE.