Friday, July 12, 2013

Baytown Bud Heatwave Event Report

Its been a week since I got the opportunity to help produce the 24th annual Baytown Bud Heatwave with Robby Sabban and the Running Alliance Sport team, but really the first chance that I've had to really unwind and share the day.

I truly enjoy event production.  It's hard work, but it provides a completely different sense of accomplishment than even what running a good time does.  Very hard to explain.

It is about putting together many moving pieces to satisfy a large number of people who spend their discretionary income on something that they could walk outside of their place of residence and do.

Yet, that wasn't even the best part of the day.

The best, of course, was the time that I got to spend with my daughter, Waverly.  I know it sounds like a broken record, but it really, really is the case.

Dad set up her with the opportunity to sing twice and she didn't disappoint.  I had her start off the pre-race ceremonies with "God Bless America" in an effort to have everybody join in with her.  They didn't take the lead.

And then she did an excellent job with the National Anthem.

As always, I was -- and continue to be -- proud.  It will be the last time for awhile that she'll have the opportunity to sing the Anthem at a race as she heads off to Liberty University next month.

After getting a reprieve from Robby to leave the scene a little early, Waverly and I headed to Galveston with friends of ours to spend some time at their friend's beach house in Jamaica Beach.

I don't take the time to just "get away" and "do nothing" for awhile.  I did,  I needed it and I enjoyed it.

Waverly had the chance to meet some other young boys and girls around her age, jumped right in, went to the beach with them for awhile, rode a jet ski with a young man who is going to be a junior this year at Texas A&M and even did a little paddleboarding in the canal.

I got the chance to spend a good bit of time talking with a friend that was in visiting from Virginia and learned a lot more about them then I had previously known.  Was very glad that I made the decision to go.  :-)

As far as the race was concerned, I'd say we had a pretty good day.

I think the only snafu that we ran into was something that is always a challenge -- and that's getting shirts right.  Unless you can work with somebody that can print what you need a day or two before, you either guarantee 'x' number of people the right size -- and cut everybody else off -- or you try to order enough.

We went into race day with 678 names in the database for the timer, who was new for this race.  (Fastlane Services, who did a really nice job.)

And almost another 50 registered on the morning of the race, taking us to 726.

We had 669 official timed finishers, which is almost double the 352 timed finishers that we had two years ago -- the first year the race came back after a 10-plus year absence.

It is great to work with a team of individuals that simply knows what to do -- and do it well.

The Running Alliance Sport team is much like the Win Win Events team, which produces the new Texas 10 Series.  A group of professionals that have a good time putting on a quality event.

My job as a race announcer is to get everyone to the starting line on-time and keeping them informed (without getting into an overkill mode where people want to say to you, "Shut up!").

And then at the finish, it is to announce people's names as they approach and cross the finish line and then handle the awards ceremony.

We had a slight issue when our masters winners were in the top three and the timer's software couldn't parse those out of the overall and move the next fastest runner up out of the age groups.

Therefore we had a couple of revisions to finalize before I made my way over to handle the awards.

I think our post-race plan worked well to ensure that we got winners up on stage as quickly as possible and moving so those that wanted to leave could do so.

At the shorter Running Alliance Sport events, we recognize the most experienced runners first -- ladies first also, too.  (At La Porte and Seabrook, those runners tend to be out on the course longer and therefore, we go from youngest to the oldest.)

I felt like we presented and highlighted the RRCA state championship award winners particularly well.

One of our sponsors, Michelle Bitterly with Awards & Engraving in Baytown, who sponsored our awards, commented after it was over that it seemed to have flowed much more smoothly than it had the previous two years.  I simply chalked it up to good planning and execution all around.

This year, we had moved locations on the grounds of Wismer Distributing and the acoustics were much, much better and Anita with Other Brother did a really good job in having the sound nice and "hot" for me.  I was really pleased with how I sounded.  (Yes, it matters to me.  While I like to fly under the radar, even with that, I still take pride in how I come off.)

Yet there was one situation on the day that I probably didn't come off well with one person.

And if that person reads this (which I doubt that they check out anything of mine on Facebook or even know that this blog exists) - or someone close to them does, I apologize.

I hate feeling like I'm being mean, but I was guilty of being a little burned up that the individual couldn't acknowledge an e-mail sent to them in late May.

It was a near repeat of a situation that took place two years earlier -- to the day -- in conjunction with that event.

It was more that I shut down all opportunities of communicating with the individual when I had taken the opportunity to do so in the limited times that I had come in contact with them previously.

It wasn't my finest moment of the day, but I'm human too.

As a result of working with the new timer, I was asked two days after the event how much I charged to do what I do.  I submitted a price for them to carry to an event producer that they are working with for early September.  All good stuff.

Nice that people are able to see what you're capable of doing -- even the first time they see you work.  That's very, very flattering.

The big challenge now is to work towards our goals of 2,000 for each of the three Texas Bridge Series races -- one each in September, October and November.  We're tracking way ahead right now on all three, but there's still a lot of work to get done.

Our first price increase is coming at the end of July.  Three races -- two 10K's and a half marathon -- with four medals for $130 is a pretty good deal.

And I've seen the mockups of the medals ... they're really, really nice!

If you're a bling person, you want to run these races!

No comments: