I started talking with my friend Jason about The Walnut Festival Run back on New Years Eve. He had organized the race in 2010 and wanted some more help for it this year. I had never been involved with anything like this and since one of my big goals for 2010 was to be more involved with the running community, this fit right in and I gladly offered my help with whatever I could. Of course I recruited my partner in crime Kristin to join me along the way and pretty soon we had a strong team of friends to organize this event! We had meetings, countless emails and texts and phone calls, and before we knew it race morning was here!
My alarm was set for 4am to get up to head to the start of the race. This was not the first time I have been up that early for a race, BUT this was the first time I was going to be “behind the scenes” of a race and I was excited and kind of nervous about it too.
I picked up Kristin and we headed over to pick up tables and other necessities (including coffee) and headed to the race to start setting up! It was dark when we started and the full moon was bright and beautiful. We organized the finish line and made our way over to help with the start line.
Eventually the sun started coming up and anxious runners started filling the streets.
The best part of this race was how many friends I had out there running it! I ran into Page early on, then saw Katie, Alisyn, Beth and met Jessica for the first time too, not to mention the crowds of Forward Motion teammates that were out there. It made me so happy to have my friends out there for something that I had been proudly working on.
Then time started going by fast.
The sign went up.
The runners made their way to the start line.
A moment of silence for 9/11 was had.
The national anthem was sang.
And pretty soon the runners were off!
Kristin and I made our way over to the one mile marker to see Page and Katie killing it!
Then we headed over to the finish line to watch the runners come in around the corner. It wasn’t long when we saw Katie come flying in and we cheered our heads off for her and Page was soon after.
We cheered for more 5k & 10k runners (including Kristin’s dog who won first place dog!) and hung around for tons of awards.
I have fast friends.
And then, just like that, it was time to take it all down and put downtown Walnut Creek back in order.
I am not sure how much money the race ended up raising just yet, but all of our profits go to the local schools (divided up by percentage on what schools the runners choose when they register) which is awesome.
It was so fun to see all the kids out supporting their schools, to be involved in such a great event and get to see so many of my friends there. It was definitely a tiring, but very rewarding day.
it definitely opened my eyes being on the other side of a race. Seeing all the little tiny logistics that go into race day, and all the hard work that goes into them on not just race day, but months in advance, really makes me appreciate any race I am a part of more. It’s not an easy job but when you have a great time it definitely helps.
Hope to see you there next year!