2011 Walnut Festival Run

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. 

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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.

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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.

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The runners made their way to the start line.

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A moment of silence for 9/11 was had. 

The national anthem was sang.

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And pretty soon the runners were off!

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Kristin and I made our way over to the one mile marker to see Page and Katie killing it!

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Hope to see you there next year!

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12 Responses to 2011 Walnut Festival Run

  1. Alyssa September 12, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    So awesome!

  2. Celia September 12, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    That’s so fun you got to help put on a race :)

  3. katieRUNSthis September 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Isn’t it so fun to be on the other side? Don’t get me wrong, I love running and love racing even more. However, there is definitely something to be said for being on the other side, whether organizing or volunteering. Now that I am expecting, I am definitely spending more time working for events or volunteering. It has given me a whole new appreciation for all the dedicated and hard working people that put in so many hours “behind the scenes” to pull off an event!

  4. Meghan September 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Fantastic job! Can you do a post about the logistics? I always wonder about that kind of stuff. Like, how did you measure the course?

  5. Kristen (inspiredbydooce) September 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Congratulations to all of you! I’m glad it went so well.

  6. Alisyn September 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Great job on a wonderful event! I had a lot of fun and am certainly looking forward to next year! :)

  7. courtney (pancakes and postcards) September 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    congrats aron! It looks like everything went awesomely. I am so sorry that i couldn’t make it out (even if I’d gotten my act together and registered, I woke up sick that day, boo) but I promise I’ll be at the next race you help put on. :) Congrats!

  8. Susan - Nurse on the Run September 13, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    I’ve always thought it would be awesome to be on the other side of things! Not only because I think it would be fun to put on a run for other runners to enjoy (or for them to rock, as per Katie and Page!), but because it’s great insight into what goes into a race. It makes you appreciate the race that much more! After working as a waitress, I definitely have more sympathy when I go out to eat…it’s not always the server’s fault! Same idea for race day, and it look like you put on a good show!

  9. marlene September 13, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Sounds like a huge success! So neat to see the other side of things and it sure does make you realize how much work it is! Can you imagine what goes into pulling off the huge races?!

  10. Fair Weather Runner September 13, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    how fun! looks like a fantastic race, i’ve only ever volunteered at races, but i can imagine the work it takes to put one on. so fantastic you can give back to the running community!

  11. RoseRunner September 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Darn it I wish I had kept up with my blog reading better so I caught wind of this race! It looks pretty fun, and almost like your own personal blogger race! look at you all taking over

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