Wow… last group training! The big race is NEXT WEEKEND!
We had six miles on the schedule today, for runners and walkers. We did the run at a park that we’ve visited several times throughout training, it’s a 3 mile loop. So today was 2 laps around the loop. It’s nice that we have a covered pavillion in the park that we can set-up shop for pre-run announcements as well as for our post-run wrap-up. And today’s wrap-up was a bigger one.
Race day jerseys were distributed (and I have to go buy some iron-on letters to write “Team Vegas – Coach Jill” on the back of mine). Tickets to the weekend’s festivities (pasta party, finish line party) were handed out. Bus wristbands so we can have our transportation around Wine Country. Jimmy and I gave a little talk about race day prep. (The big point was to refrain from doing wine tastings the day before the race!) The team is ready and everyone is getting excited to go.
The walkers we were worried about making the cut-off deadline are no longer doing the race. It’s a little bit sad, they couldn’t raise the money, but the worst thing was they didn’t even have the money to cover the fees. If you’ve never done a charity fundraising program, most of the time there is a “recommitment” point mid-way through the training. At this time you are signing paperwork saying that you will raise the money or else your credit card will be charged for the difference that you haven’t raised. Sadly a few people took advantage of the training and schedule but their credit cards wouldn’t cover the fees, so they actually end up costing the foundation money. So if you’ve ever considered doing a charity fundraising program, just make sure you are aware that you are supposed to actually complete the fundraising. Those that didn’t cover it mentioned that the economy made it tough. True, the economy is not as great as it has been… but it’s always difficult to ask people for their hard-earned cash. There is a big commitment that comes from joining a group like this, not only in training for the race but in raising the money.
Stepping off the soapbox…
Today it was 88 degrees according to my car when I was driving to practice… this was before 6 AM. When we finished it was already reaching 100. And it felt really muggy/humid out for Vegas. We’re used to about -14% humidity (slight exaggeration) so any time there is some moisture in the air, we really feel it!
We had a pretty good turnout today, even some people that we haven’t seen all season were there. But that’s probably because they wanted to make sure they got their race weekend essentials! Everybody covered the distance today though, nobody backed out early. I’m really confident that our team is prepped and ready to take on the challenge.
I’m excited to do the race with them and to see what it’s like to be a coach on the course. I know that Team Challenge groups from all over the country will be there, so we’ll be available to assist all Team Challenge participants on the course. We are taking on the Phoenix team as part of our team for race weekend since they just have 7 people coming to the race, not enough participants for their coaches to come too. I’m certain I will cover the 13.1 miles, since the course is a point-to-point and I obviously have to get to the finish line. But I have no idea how much additional mileage I’ll pick up during the race. It’s all an adventure, for everyone involved!
After practice when things were winding down I was talking with our endurance manager and one of our mentors (who is going to be assistant coach for the Vegas season) about the next season, we don’t have very much time off before we start back at it… and I’m excited! Jimmy won’t be coaching with me, which I’m a little bummed about, but I’m hoping the new coach that was hired is a nice guy and will be good to work with as well. I have been really impressed with how efficiently Team Challenge runs (ha ha… pun not intended). It’s a really great organization.
I am coaching a group of runners for the organization Team Challenge. They are fundraising for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America while training to run the Napa to Sonoma half marathon in July.