MLKDAY5k: A Classy Race With Great Organizers
One chilly morning two weeks ago, almost 700 runners lined up across from Lenox Mall for the 1st running of the MLKDAY5k Race. The race promised a fast, flat course perfect for setting a good qualifying time for the Peachtree Road Race in July. Though I ran a good pace, I missed my goal by exactly one second. My expectations were crushed but you know what? The race was for a great cause and the organizing was fantastic for their first year out.
Still though, that one second stuck with me and I vented my frustration with my friend Carol. We lamented that the only “gun times” were recorded rather than “chip times.” Though honestly only important for geeks who run, chip times are more accurate. They account for the time you spent on the course itself rather than wadding through the crowd to get to the start line after the gun time begins – a critical detail when you’re running with hundreds of other runners.
Carol and I certainly weren’t upset but since she had a line into the race organizers, she passed on our frustration. Later on that week though, a mystery package appeared on my doorstep. It was a hand-written note from Chip, Nancy and Jenna, the race organizers. They had heard of my one-second loss and wanted to encourage me to keep training.
Along with their note, they included a pair of 110% Brand Compression Socks. Known for being more effective than just ice or heat therapy alone, compression socks help your legs recover from intense runs by promoting better circulation and faster recovery. I actually tried them out after a particularly brutal 9-miler last weekend. They ended up working great, helping me to avoid the tension and soreness that tends to accompany my longer runs.
Now, if that last paragraph sounded like an endorsement, it is. If sponsors like 110% are going to help these guys organize future races and benefit fantastic Atlanta charities, I am glad to help in any way I can.
Chip, Nancy and Jenna certainly didn’t have to send me anything to want to run in the MLK5K next year. However, the fact they reached out says a lot about their desire to connect on a personal level with their runners. Not every business has the ability to connect like this with their “customers” but receiving a note from this team underscores how powerful a simple note can be.
Though it’s a year off, I am already circling the calendar for the 2013 MLKDAY5k. You should too. In the meantime, I am going to aim to shave that second off chip time, or not.
Author’s Note: This post was originally slated to go up last week but my my personal mac is dead so new posts may go up less frequently than normal.