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Sunday
Jan222012

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.

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