From the Middle of the Pack - Tim Bagley


What's in an award

After three weeks of a new year and a new series, everything looks to be working well.  The weather has been awesome for most races.  Even the rain this last weekend at the Jaycees January Jog 10.2K wasn’t that bad, at least until we started breaking down.

I have been able to run/walk a few of the races this year.  None with spectacular outcomes but it was still nice to a part of the races.  My mom walked the ML5K in Athens this year.  This was her second race in which she has ever participated.  The first was in Duluth about 16 years ago.  It was great seeing her get out on the road with us.   She even placed third in her age group, an award she displayes proudly.  I hope this will encourage her to do more races.  Race directors need to keep that in mind, the awards will bring more repeat runners to a race, especially newer races.  You don’t have to go overboard with expensive awards or medals, just give out more of them.  I know that when a race director learns that to get awards for thirty age groups, three deep and overall awards for open and masters runners, 94 awards will need to be purchased, they go into shock.  The minimum cost is usually around $500.  That is one of your expenses that can be differed by sponsorship but you can also cut the expense by thinking outside the box.  Get a local school to have the special needs class make the awards as a project.  You can supply the clay or paint or whatever they need to make the award.  We do a race in Toccoa that has the school make pottery awards.  There is a race that benefits Camp Kudzu and they get the camp kids to paint pictures with the race theme and then get frames from the dollar store.  Awards are like Christmas presents, if you get the same thing every year it is not as special but if it is something homemade from the heart, then it means more to you and you look forward the event again next year.

As far as advertising, what is better than a grandmother bragging to her friends and family that she got a third place award at your race.  From the middle of the pack, Tim.


Black Bag Race Series

The new year brings with it a new challenge for me and Classic Race Services.  Starting Jan 1st, we started our new race series, Black Bag Race Series.  The concept was not ours but Will Chamberlin's.  Will Chamberlin and Classic Race ServicesIn 2008, I spoke with Will after a race and he mentioned he was wanting to start a race series that would cover all the races that Classic Race Services timed.  He thought of it as a Northeast Georgia Grand Prix.  During 2009, I asked him again about his vision and he mentioned that he still wanted to pursue the option but was not able to make it come about.  Maybe 2010 would  be a better year to start.

Many of you know that 2010 was a sad year in the running world.  Will suffered a stroke at the Hogpen Hill Climb and was starting to recover when he passed away in April of that year.  In June, Carole and I joined forces to continue the company that Will founded.  During the year we bought new equipment and added new races all over the state.  In 2011 we timed our first races with the new electronic timing system we bought.  During that year we discussed with each other and with runners about starting a new series.

In 2012 that series was born.  With the same idea that Will fostered, we will include all Classic Race Services races in the series at no extra cost to the race directors.  We have partnered with the Clover Glove Series and included all of their races for 2012 on the BBRS.  The point system is one that I developed but I can't take full credit for the idea.  It is based on a system that is used in some of the poker leagues around the state.  The idea is the more people you beat the more points you receive.  For the BBRS, the more runners you out run in your age group, the more points you receive.  

We will see how this all plays out over the next year.  I am sure mistakes will be made, points will need to be monitored and nerves will be frayed.  Because we are not charging anyone for points and most races will not see an increase in their cost, we would love to find some sponsors to defer the cost of awards at the end of the year.  If you would like to sponsor or know a business that would like to help, please have them contact either Carole or myself.  We can be reached at  If you find a sponsor for us, I am sure some races could be comped.