The One with the Desert Dash

The Standin On the Corner Race we did in September was such a huge success that Larissa and I decided to organize another for the spring/summer.  We chose Homolovi as our venue because we both have fond memories of running there.  That's actually where our racing days started.  We also wanted to have a beneficiary this time, so with a friend's suggestion, we chose to donate all proceeds to the Fireworks Fund. 

Check out that view at Homolovi.  Beautiful running course!   

We spent countless hours the last few months preparing for this race.  Every day we would each try to do at least one thing, whether it was finalizing t-shirts, attending the Chamber of Commerce Council meeting to ask for support, running the course, getting water jugs, making signs, setting up a Paypal account, emailing newspapers, etc...I could go on and on. 

Fast forward to race day.  We set up mile marker signs along the course and turn around signs for the 2 mile and 10K.  We set up two water stations, complete with junior high Honor Society student volunteers and posters they decorated.  We had volunteers standing at two intersections to direct runners, and we had Jason (Larissa's hubby) to ride his bike and lead the runners to the turnaround point, and then follow the last runner back.

I've always said it was stressful to be the race director up until the gun went off; then we could finally relax a little.  Famous last words.  The gun (aka air horn) went off and the runners started.  Only problem was Jason was waiting for a friend to get his bike ready so we accidentally started without him, and we had some miscommunication with the volunteer at the first fork in the road.

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" -Yogi Berra

Steve came running up to us yelling that the runners had all gone the wrong way!  They were supposed to go left at the fork in the road (blue), but they all went right (red).  Keep in mind our entire course was laid out along the blue road.  The red road headed straight back to the highway.   I cannot even begin to tell you the feeling of dread I had at that very moment. 

Thank goodness for Steve.  He jumped in my car and started keeping track of the mileage from the start line.  He followed the runners, tried to pick a turnaround point, and then guide them back to the real race course.  It was tricky cause some had gone farther than others.  He was also doing some intense math to figure out how far they needed to run to make it back to the course, then back to the finish line in 6. 2 miles.

Steve corralling the runners
We came up a little short in the end.  I think the 2 milers did about 1.8 miles, and the 10Kers did anywhere from 5.4-5.9 miles.   They have Choose Your Own Adventure books, so why not a Choose Your Own Distance race??

I could hardly look any of the runners in the eye when they finished.  I felt horrible for our rookie mistake.  I've even gone through all the phases of grief...anger, denial, sadness, and now I'm finally able to write about it, and even make a few jokes.

There were a few shining moments at the Desert Dash.  We had some really great people come out to run and help, the kids race was a success, and we raised some money for the Fireworks Fund.  I think the best part was that my whole family came out to run.  Christie, Richie, Nancy, and Ryan did the 10K.  My parents, Kalli, Courtney, Kyle, and Tatum did the 2 Mile.  And Noah, Collin, Talan, and Tatum did the Kids 400 Meter Dash. 

Noah and Talan
Kyle and Collin
Amma, Courtney carrying Tatum, and Kalli in the 2 Mile

Christie in the 10K

14 yr old Ryan in the 10K

Richie and Nancy in the 10K
Kalli, Mom and Dad starting the 2 Mile

After Steve corralled the runners, he decided to run in the 10K carrying a table.  What a show-off!

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