Monday, February 6, 2017

2017 Race Announcing Update

Sunday, I'll be race announcing the Galveston Marathon and its three companion races for the sixth time in the race's seven-year renewal.

It will be the first of three marathons that I'll announce over the next six weekends - and the fourth marathon of 2017.

The other two are the Gusher Marathon in Beaumont and the Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon.

The Gusher comes on Saturday, March 4, and now includes a three-distance cycling time trial race and a strength fitness competition called Roughneck.

Seabrook, meanwhile, has evolved into a three-day running festival that begins on Friday, March 17 with the marathon now on Saturday, March 18 and wrapping up with a half on Sunday, March 19.

It is a privilege to be able to do each one of these races, as well as Steve and Paula Boone's Texas Marathon (which is always held on January 1 in Kingwood).

2015 was probably the height of my race announcing and if so, that's perfectly OK.

Those closest to me hear me say often that "I have no ego".  Seriously.

While I'm confident in what I do, and feel like I hold my own with the best in the business, I announce so I can help promote the races that I work with and affirm and recognize the runners that put down their discretionary income to run them.

The last year or so has certainly been interesting.

Robby Sabban's races - or Running Alliance Sport - and the Nike South and Nike Cross Regional meets for The Woodlands High School go on my calendar first.

(A close second is the two cross country meets I announce for Sam Houston State University - the UIL Region III Preview meet in September and the UIL Region III meet in late October.)

In fact, RAS is assuming the race management of a race which will be on the same date this year of a race that I announced for the first time last year.

So I'll announce Yuri's Night 10K and 5K in Nassau Bay on Saturday, April 8 and I sent the e-mail today to the race contact that brought me to the table last year.

They hadn't reconnected yet, but I didn't want to wait until later in the process when I knew that I wasn't going to be there.

A year ago, I walked away from a race series that I was with from its inception in November 2012.

I, at first, had a potential work conflict that may have caused some work-related travel issues if the company that I'm employed by sent me to a NYC-based customer, but there were also some fulfillment issues from the event production company's standpoint.

I was also brought to the table of an out-of-state race for the first time last year for a race that is always held on Super Bowl Saturday.

I ran the race in 2015 and when it was getting eerily close to start the race and there was nobody queued up, I jumped in to make a few announcements for the race director.

The timer made an introduction late that winter and in 2016, I announced the race.

My rate card was shared in all communications.  I agreed to discount my half marathon rate since it was the first time that I was doing their race.

I even talked to the race director before I left the race site that I would submit my invoice that evening to them so they could tally their number up to make a sizable donation to a significant charity.

After not getting paid in a little more than 30 days, I reached out electronically again to the race director with no response.

Oddly enough, within the last few weeks, the race e-mailed me to see if I would be available to announce for them.

I simply responded that I would not be available.  It was kind of sad.  I loved running the race and I enjoyed the atmosphere and the people.

If I had been paid, I would have blocked the race on my calendar until about 30 or 45 days before the race, depending on the race and my relationship with the race director.

I had even e-mailed the timer to make them aware and I got no response from that individual.

Finally, there was another race - a half marathon with a 5K - that I ran the very first edition of in the fall of 2013 and then announced the second and third editions in January of 2015 and 2016.

Two days after Christmas, about 30 days before race day, I e-mailed the individuals - friends, actually - to ask them for an update and I received no communications from them and have yet to hear from them.

Just stunning.

If I'm not good any more, tell me.  I can live with that.

If I'm expensive, which I've actually been told I'm actually pretty cheap comparatively speaking, then tell me that too.

But don't go without communicating anything.

They had also arranged for me to get some microphone time at one of our state's biggest marathons last year - for which I was incredibly grateful and honored - and had intimated back in October that there might have been some more opportunity for this year, but again:  Nothing.  Which is fine.

I've also said to many that I have no designs on dominating the race announcing world.

So I appreciate Richard and Amie James, the race directors with the Gusher Marathon, getting with me immediately after last year's race (think it might have been on-site before the 2016 race was over) and saying, "Hey, likely, we're going to be on the same date as another marathon that you've been involved in 2017."

I told them then that I would be there.

The race director at the marathon that I had been involved with (since its re-entry to the market place) sent me a text asking if I wanted to announce that race this year.

We had talked in the past about me doing it, but that I needed to find a partner (which I had started to investigate).

However, while Rich and Amie would have understood, my word was most important (even though I have failed a time or two elsewhere in my life in that area).

Even here within the last couple of weeks, a respected runner that's known internationally asked where I was going to be on Saturday, March 4 - and they're headed to Beaumont as well.

But they commended me on keeping my word to Beaumont.

So for Beaumont, it will be my sixth year to announce their race.

The Gusher's first year was 2010.  I ran the half marathon in 2011.  And then I approached the couple before 2012 and have been helping them ever since.

Seabrook will be the ninth straight year that I have been on the microphone for a race that is the eighth oldest marathon in Texas, a title it shares with Dallas' Big-D Marathon and the Waco Miracle Match Marathon.

I'm grateful for each race I get to announce and I even more appreciate now Ken Johnson and the Seven Hills Running Club for giving me that first chance in 2007 -- even though I had done a lot of basketball public address announcing when I covered private and parochial high school athletitcs in Texas.

I also appreciate Andy Stewart with Finish Line Sports, The Woodlands Township, Bill Gardner with Run In Texas, the crew at Sylvan Beach Triathlon and Duathlon and Graham Schooley with RA Sports Management for continuing to engage my services.

If there's a race out there that you think that I can help with what I do, which I often say is more than just announcing, a referral always goes a long way -- and thank you in advance for doing so.

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