hospital hill or bust?

May 21, 2008

(We were sponsored this year!)Bust the wallet, that is.  I confess: I’m a bit of a cheapskate to begin with … so that doesn’t help matters.  But there’s something about paying $50 bucks for a simple activity (I usually do for free on Saturday mornings).

My griping may be due to the fact that I’ve still got a “bad taste” in my mouth from Olathe’s (1/2) Marathon … what with all of it’s road-kill and portapotty-lines.  I mean line.  (There was just that one portapotty at race-start, right?!)  Note to self: NOT ALL fun-runs are created equal.

I’m incredibly partial to my very first fun-run experience: Wichita’s Riverfest Run ’92.  To this day, it’s gotta be one of my favorite fun-runs (challenged only by Chicago’s Shamrock Shuffle).  The RiverRun – annual tradition for the past 15 years (give or take a year or five) – was on it’s game once again this Spring.  (Which is why I’m smiling so big in the photos taken here – two weeks ago- just after Jenn and I pushed ourselves near nausea.)

We neared our personal best: a 9 minute mile/pace.  (Which pretty much nails the coffin on Boston.  But who cares?  As long as we’re aiming to puke at the finish-line; isn’t that what it’s really all about?!) Loren, Jenn, Jt, & Renee on RiverRun race-day

In the end, I’ve had many ocassions (during many great RiverRuns and several lousy others) to think about the “must-have” elements of any race-day.  (They’re pretty simple, actually; you’d think more festival committees could get this.)  And there aren’t a ton; but the few are, indeed, essential.  Here’s my short-list:

  • A gun at the starting line (some things one feels even silly mentioning, until …)
  • Helpful volunteers (why else did you choose to volunteer; surely you’re not in need of honor’s student comm-service hours).  I’m okay if you pretend to cheer
  • Potty spots (I mean: race-day or no … this is quite simply a must)
  • Race-time chips (as in digital time-keepers).  You pretend to volunteer; I pretend to race
  • Live music (I don’t need Frank Sinatra; the highschool sax-player will do … and he’ll distract me for a moment from your bored and worthless volunteers)
  • Post-race water & refuel (A banana & a hershey kiss; what’s that … 60 cents?)

The equation is not complex.

And some (cheaper-than-me-race-planner-skates) might be surprised by the number of participants who linger in the streets to celebrate & talk with strangers and old-acquaintances.  Then cough up the dough to come back again and do it all over again the next year.  That’s why I pay $50 bucks.  Or (in the case of Wichita’s RiverRun) $20.

Here’s hoping Hospital Hill’s got this one figured out …



One Response to “hospital hill or bust?”

  1. […] & volunteers en route, but who’s complaining?)  It was a great run.  Made up of all the essentials – and even some of the eccentric (more on that later … along w/photos).  Worth the […]

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