Sunday, October 11, 2015

Three Eagle - Race Director's Desk

            Yesterday marked the 2nd annual Three Eagle Half Marathon & 5K, and what a day it was!  Last year’s race was a huge success, but there were several big changes we made in order to really improve up on it.  We changed the finishing route from bumpy grass to running on paved streets.  We upgraded our long sleeve race shirts to dry-wick.  We added awesome door prizes, and gave away over 50 sweet items!  We moved everything to the Reiter Center for both days, adjusted the schedule to better accommodate participants, and we even added bakery cookies to our post-race menu!  We also switched to a timing company that would give us more thorough results faster and on the spot.  We had start and finish banners made for us.  All the while we still offered it at the same lower fees, kept our pumpkin mile markers, and treated everyone to ice cold chocolate milk post-race!     
            We lucked out with another year of perfect weather, hitting a high in the low 60’s with a cool wind and warm sun.  The fall colors were at their peak and it couldn’t have been more beautiful out there on the trail!  We had incredible sponsors who provided us with our printed materials, buses, chocolate milk, television and radio promotions, music, door prizes, post-race massages, and the funds to be able to give our participants so much while keeping their fees lower than most other races.  We had amazing volunteers to mark pumpkins, stuff bags, work registration, set-up the course, be our traffic monitors and crossing guards, help with post-race food and around the finish area, with awards, etc.  And my outstanding husband again provided us with all of our designs: website, posters, brochures, banners, shirts, awards, and even photography on race day.  We were blessed with so many people who all came together to make this possible!  THANK YOU!
            Registration numbers were up this year as well.  Last year we had 352 register and 305 participate.  This year we had 377 register and 351 get in on the action on race day!  We had 3 out of the 4 course records fall as well!  While we know that there were a few things we could have done better and can improve upon for next year, we also heard a ton of great feedback!  One person went so far as to say that this was the best event in Three Lakes!  A lot of comments were about how well organized the race was – I give a lot of credit to my amazing race committee for this!  Other stand-outs that I heard were how awesome the volunteers were, great food (especially the fresh ground peanut butter and the plethora of chocolate milk), and the much improved finishing route.  The trail is always top-notch thanks to the Three Eagle Trail Foundation!  This is the race that you want to do year after year. 
            This year I also was able to partake in running the half marathon after all of the morning prep stuff.  I’ve run and biked on this trail quite a few times, but this was the first time being in a race on it.  It was crazy cool to see fans at crossings and along the road cheering the runners on!  I got to see our awesome aid stations in action, and be a part of the biggest race ever held on the trail!  While it was personally my worst half marathon time ever, I’m glad I got to be a part of our signature event.  You really won’t find anything nearly as beautiful.

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