Monday, June 21, 2010
Unfortunately, there was no carbo-loading on Friday night for the race directors which is one my favorite parts of running. We did, however, have a license to drink as much coffee and eat as many donuts and bagels before the race on Saturday morning which suited me just fine. It is debatable if race directors wake up earlier than runners on race day. Most of our alarm clocks were set for a shade earlier than 5 a.m. Saturday morning. It was fun being on the race course at sunrise putting out the mile markers and signs, but we missed seeing the course “in action” and have really no idea how many fans and neighbors came out for it. I am pretty sure that I would not trade the anxiety of trying to find parking and the restrooms before a race with the anxiety of setting everything up on time and making sure the gun goes off at the precise start time. Obviously, those at the race saw we were a bit challenged by this :).
One of my favorite parts of being on the other side was being able to look at the whole field of runners and walkers and see all of the determination and excitement at the start line. That is a one of kind experience. My other favorite part was watching and cheering on the runners and walkers at the final turn to the finish line. There is nothing more inspirational than seeing athletes ‘gut it out’ at the finish to meet their goals.
“So what’s the verdict?”, you may ask…is it more fun to run a race or direct a race? For me, I would call it a tie. There are different rewards that come out of both and both require a lot of hard work. “So…will there be a 2nd Annual F.A.B. 5K?” you might ask? Stay tuned….
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Here's the thing: Saturday rendered us speechless. How do we begin to describe Saturday's experience?
Here's a very brief summary:
- Sarah and her family had a great time and were all smiles!
- The weather held out until after the run/walk finished.
- The temperature even fell 8 degrees an hour before the race from a humid 84 to an almost pleasant 76.
- We had over 60 wonderful and energetic volunteers that showed up and did everything we asked and more. They were rock stars!
- There were over 275 participants that walked or ran the course.
- Beautiful pictures were taken by an up and coming photographer - Colleen H. She's already on reserve for next year. We're working on getting those out onto the blog. Keep looking for them!
- The post-race musicians played long after the event was finished and were kept dry under the tent.
- There was more than enough food and water. Who needs cases of water for their next charitable event? Look no further!! Just let us know.
- Everyone showed up on time or early with big smiles on their faces.
- The '57 Chevy pace car driven by Dave Lavin was a huge hit.
- We sold out of 50 t-shirts and 22 more were ordered.
- We laughed, we cried, we cheered, we laughed some more.
It was one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced and I walked around in pure shock and awe at the beauty of it for several days after.
The most beautiful part of it? The generosity of everyone. The inaugural F.A.B. 5K raised over $15,000! In the process, we made a lot of people smile. We could have planned this event all we wanted, but the volunteers and participants made it successful. It was a community coming together and showing love and support for one another.
My apologies on not getting this post out sooner. Truthfully, I have had a hard time finding a way to put this into words. Thank you isn't enough. I can only say it was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had and I hope we have a chance to do it again - with you.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
• Pondering whether Jerry Taft, Tom Skilling, Ginger Zee and Tracy Butler will all agree on the appropriate weather forecast for Saturday.
• Running the race course a few times to check for issues – I was a bit concerned when I noticed a neighbor had placed a few rocks on the roadway – was this a protest to the notification flyer we had sent out? Lesley pointed out that he probably just forgot to put them back after mowing the grass.
• Going on a shopping spree at Meijer for supplies.
• Stocking up on sleep because the Sandman probably won’t come on Friday night – we will be too excited/nervous/anxious.
• Smiling every time we get a pre-registration form!
• Outlining the events of June 12th minute by minute.
• Getting crafty – making signs, writing speeches and drawing maps.
• Coordinating with our awesome volunteers.
I think the F.A.B. 5K Team would agree that it’s all been a lot of fun and we cannot wait to see the results on Saturday! Speaking of Saturday, a few quick updates:
• We will have a limited quantity of F.A.B. 5K t-shirts for sale on race day - $10/shirt.
• If you haven’t done so already, why not pre-register? Just fill out the form at this link and email it back to us: http://www.bcrfcure.org/pdf/eve_fab5k_register.pdf
• We will be running and walking rain or shine! If there is extreme weather, please check back at our blog or Facebook for an update.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The support, generosity, encouragement, and excitement of people I've encountered along the way can match no other experience. Watching people come together in the face of something so difficult is a beautiful thing. I've never encountered something like this "up close" before. The four of us spent much of March worried and grieving about loved ones and probably wondering when things would feel "normal" again. I'm pretty sure the definition of normal changes when you are close to someone suffering from breast cancer, or lose someone to breast cancer. But, this process has given us all an opportunity to see some "good" in life.
It's been almost five years ago to the day that I knocked on my running partner's door, introduced myself, and asked her if she would be interested in training for the Chicago Marathon together. I'm pretty sure none of us envisioned this....actually planning a race together that will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I'm pretty sure that all breast cancer survivors and breast cancer "families" didn't envision their journey, either. This is nothing like breast cancer treatment - this is easy compared to any breast cancer treatment. But, look what happened when those two things came together?
I hope those of you who come on Saturday feel the same support, generosity, encouragement, and excitement that we've experienced these last two and a half months. Then, I hope you continue to share those feelings with those you meet.
"With each mile I learn more about who I am -
with every step I move closer to myself...
this has been serendipitous.
I am comfortable with me, because of this road." --Unknown
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
For the advance planners out there, we thought we would provide a quick preview on what to expect for race day.
PARKING - Parking at Patton School will be pretty limited, we will be closing the lots by 8:40 a.m. to clear for the race route. The alternative is street parking and we think it is adequate. We encourage you to car pool, run/walk to Patton or ride your bike!
REGISTRATION - Begins at 8:15 a.m. If you preregistered, you need to get in the Pre-Registered line to pick up your race number and get your raffle tickets. Also note, we will not have a bag check.
RACE START - 5k start is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. We ask that walkers file towards the back of the pack. The 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will start at 9:10 a.m.
RACE COURSE - The course is open (meaning that there will be cars), so runners/walkers should be vigilant and run/walk on the left side of the road. There will be one water stop on the course at about mile 1.8. The 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk turnaround is at Yale Court, the one milers will retrace their route back to Patton after the turnaround.
POST RACE - We will have some live entertainment, water and snacks. Hang out and cheer on the finishing runners/walkers and be social!
RAFFLE - Raffle winners will be drawn during the race and the winners will be posted by 9:45a.m. at the raffle table. Don't forget to check this out after the race!
Stay tuned for more details....if you have any specific questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, May 31, 2010
However, this isn't too difficult because I encounter people almost every day throughout this process who remind me that we are far from alone in our experiences. The dry cleaner who has four sisters, three of whom had stage IV breast cancer; the clerk at Ann Taylor Loft who has an aunt who has been fighting Stage IV breast cancer for 16 years (without remission); a teacher of one of our children who sent an email detailing her experience with her mom; a volunteer who shared a moving story about her two sisters with breast cancer; a friend's daughter who flew from Alabama to the NIH in D.C. one day per month for 9 months for Stage IV experimental treatment. The stories go on and on and I fear I've left many important stories out - so many to tell. It's important to share these stories because we are a community of people with potential connections. We can help one another, share information, and motivate breast cancer research. For all of you attending our run, some very beautiful little girls (Girl Scout Daisies from Patton Elementary) will be providing signage boards for people to share their stories and love. Don't forget to stop by, read and sign!
Every time I encounter one of these people or their story, I'm immediately motiviated to check off the next task on the to-do list or come up with another "to-do". I'm doing it for Sarah, my mom, Barb, Charmaine, Christine and all these other people and their families. I know many of you are coming out for these same special people. Who else? Let us know.
It's so worth every bit of planning; each possible sanfu, each unplanned obstacle. Because, in the end, why am I doing this? I'm doing it for a bigger purpose and I can handle it. Hope to see you there...rain...or shine!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Many marathons now have videos that take you through the whole course so you can prep for it. The F.A.B. 5K team is not at that level of technology yet, so I thought I would give you a narrative tour, you can also see the attached link for a preview:
The 5K begins and ends at Patton Elementary…you will be running out of the driveway, heading south on Patton, keep your eyes open for curbs and watch out for parked cars --- our course is open and this will be prime parking for race attendees here. Hang a right onto Maude for a short distance and then you will head north on Yale – note that there is a course cross-over at the intersection of Maude & Yale, so look for the faster runners making the turn to go south on Yale, be sure to cheer them on! You will pass Yale Court – this is the one mile turnaround for the fun run/walk. Right after that is the next turn, Lillian Ave, just a short jaunt on this and then you will head south again on Chicago for a short bit and turn back onto Maude. Now you can wave to the slower runners and walkers behind you at the crossover ;). Turn south on Yale, now you have a nice downhill stretch ahead of you with lots of shade. Be sure to wave and say ‘thanks’ to our volunteer course marshals and the Village of Arlington Heights Policemen who are helping to make sure you don’t get run over or go off course. At Elm, head east…look out for the water stop coming up at the Blue house on the corner of Princeton and Elm (this is at about 1.8 miles). Right after the water stop, head north on Harvard. This starts to begin a bit of the uphill portion of the route. You will run through scenic and shady Sherwood. Next turn is at Marion and then you will hit Yale again and the course should look familiar. Head north on Yale – you are in the home stretch, less than a ½ mile to go, time to turn it up a notch! Cut right onto Lynnwood, then make a quick turn onto Harvard, and then onto Maude. You will hit Patton Ave. and Patton School will be in your sights, there is no excuse to not sprint at this point. Head right past Patton, turn into the north parking lot, you should hear the crowds by now. Congrats…you are a finisher of the inaugural F.A.B. 5K!
Monday, May 24, 2010
The F.A.B 5k Team decided to put together a raffle for race day as an added incentive to get people out for the race, add some excitement and raise money. None of us are raffle or fundraising experts, so going into this we really had no idea of successful we would be in gathering items to even raffle. Thankfully this has been easier than we anticipated. Most businesses that we have approached have been very responsive and willing to help, for which we are most grateful!
For every $20 you donate to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, you receive one raffle ticket (you must be present on race day to participate). We thought we would give you a sneak peek of some of the Race Day Raffle items:
* A Droid from Motorola
* Gift Certificates from Running Unlimited in Palatine
* Teeth Whitening from Westgate Dental in Arlington Heights
* Lots of running gear from Mizuno
* Wine tasting classes from Urban Harvest
* Cubs Tickets
* Yoga classes from Willow Yoga
* Massage gift certificate from Athletico
*Gift certificates for rounds of golf at Arlington Lakes & Nickol Knoll from the Arlington Heights Park District
If you are reading this and think you might have something to donate for our raffle, we would love to hear from you…please email us at email@example.com. Thank you!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
One of my favorite blogger/writers, Kristin Armstrong, recently wrote a great article in the May 2010 Runner's World issue on a very simple reason why we should run, see this link: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7124,s6-243-297--13480-0,00.html
This drove home a simple realization that we are organizing this race because we have the ability to do this for those that cannot.....and we hope you join us in running or walking because you can!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The F.A.B. 5k Team has two general rules for skipping outdoor runs: (1) when the thermometer approaches single digits and wind chills go below zero and (2) Driving rain (although we have found ourselves in the middle of a run with rain like this). With the help of a higher power, neither weather rule will be invoked on June 12th!
What are your outside running/walking 'weather rules'?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
We have all participated in and supported various methods to raise money for charity....from car washes to selling wrapping paper to holding a bake sale. There are lots of arguments for which is the most effective way to raise money. For us, it was a pretty simple decision...we are runners....let's do a race.
In giving our decision some thought, there are some good reasons behind this choice. A race is an event for the community and like minded folks to gather, something that friends and family can do together. Events generate support, awareness and publicity and which are all good things for our cause.
Getting out for a 5k is great exercise. Exercise is good for the body and good for the brain. We are all firm believers in this. We also think its a perfect opportunity to challenge yourself and set a goal. Showing up for a race requires a little more thought than writing a check and from time to time, that's good for us!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
We are a group of four friends who share the love of running and a very close connection to a family member and/or friend with breast cancer. In a single week this past March, we lost one Mom, one sister, watched one Mom finish her last round of radiation due to a second occurance, one sister begin reconstruction surgery after a double mastectomy, and a very close friend take a severe beating from the effects of stage IV breast cancer.
You may know...it's such a helpless feeling watching friends lose family members, worry about moms,siblings, friends, and know you can't do anything to make the physical or emotional pain go away. We decided during our early morning runs that a way to channel our frustration in a positive way and encourage the same from others was to create an event that would support someone going through this.
This blog will introduce you to those women this event is dedicated to. It will also follow us through the planning and execution of the race. This race isn't for us - it's for them: the loved ones who taught us all about what's important; how to show love for one another; why it's important to give it your best; how to to make a difference. I hope we're channeling them - this is a cake walk compared to what they've been through.