Did you miss Part I of this report? Check it out here.
Ok, so enough of the history lesson about FirstRun, what about 2013?
I hope you saw the pictures SkiPix took of the race. From scene inside before the race to the Kids Run to the 5k I thought they did a great job of capturing the day.
In the first 8 years RunVermont produced FirstRun the race grew from around 300 finishers in 2005 to 807 in 2012. Last year I think we were all overwhelmed trying to work the finish line. We know we can handle 700+/- with our standard tag system, but when race day registration was over 200 last year we knew we were going to be stressed to the max.
After last year’s race we surveyed those of you who ran to find out which direction you wanted us to take regarding timing. Although the results were split between “open finish line, no timing” and “chip timing, even if it costs a couple bucks”, the most passionate replies came from those who wanted chip timing so we brought in our friends at Granite State Race Services. We hope you liked this addition. If you’re missing from the results, please contact us ASAP so we can find you in the backup system.
With Granite State on board, this was the first time I was able to get onto the course during the race to check you all out. Usually as soon as the race starts we all scramble to the finish line to make sure everything is in place. This year I took a walk up to the intersection of College and Willard and ended up helping out with traffic. Even with about 150 less runners than last year I was amazed at the density of the pack and for how long you all kept coming through. I would say it was a solid 12 minutes or so before we were able to send more than one car through at at time. Impressive! After that I got down to Willard and Union for the finishers after 25 minutes. It was really nice to see a lot of familiar faces, made me wish I was out there running with you.
I need to send a big Thank You to our food and prize donors. On the food side, Hannaford was on board for the yummy soup! When Al Lesage, the North Ave store manager told me he could donate 96 pounds of soup, I had no idea how many gallons that was. It turns out 96 pounds is A LOT of soup!!! On a cold day, I’m sure it hit the spot for all of you who ran. A big Thank You to Joe Carton and his kitchen staff at the Burlington Courtyard Marriott for the early morning food prep. Without their help you would have been enjoying(?) chilled soup. Joe’s staff really bailed us out in a big way, we are very grateful. Also donating was Coca Cola of New England, based out of Colchester. Thanks to Stan for the many cases of Olde New England Seltzer. And finally, thanks to Paul Owens at the Williston Road Starbucks for setting our volunteers up with coffee. Finally, Myers Bagels provided a deep discount on the volunteer bagels.
On the prize list, the long list of businesses who help us out by donating speaks strongly to the way area businesses support each other. In total we had 93 prizes donated! We hope that you will patronize the businesses who generously provide prizes for this race:
Chop Shop Hair Design
The Flynn Center
Great Harvest Bread Company
The Green Life
Jay Peak via VSAA
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Leddy Park Arena
Marsha Drake Jewelry
My Little Cupcake
Saint Michael’s College Athletics
Spare Time Colchester
Spirit of Ethan Allen
Sports and Fitness Edge
Sugarbush via VSAA
Vermont Teddy Bear Company
The Vermont Butcher Block & Board Company
Women’s Source for Sports
In the category of “We Can’t Do It Without You”…would you agree that our volunteers were amazing? It felt nice to hear so many thank you’s from runners during the race. Those of you who volunteer at races will probably agree with me that a Thank You from a runner is one of the main reasons we’re out there keeping the intersections safe, or lead biking the race, or handing out bibs, or setting up the food tables, or keeping order at the finish line.
25 years of FirstRun Burlington – thank you for being a part of the festivities! We hope your 2013 is healthy and that all your miles are in the zone.
Your turn – what do you like about FirstRun and what do you want to see different for 2014?