I finally got the Pumpkin Run web site up and going again. We registered our event with Sign Me Up Sports like we have every year so far. Our online registration continues to account for a larger percentage of our total registrants each year, in large part to our Google strategy, which I’ll explain in an upcoming post.
I’ve used the excellent Kwiki software running on Apache for the web site. It allows me to update the content of the page from any browser and gives a tremendous amount of flexibility. It is basically the same framework that Wikipedia uses for updating web content.
I created a new logo for this year’s race below. It took about 90 seconds of working in the GIMP to produce it. Don’t laugh. This is the logo that we’ll be putting on the socks this year.
Here is the version we used last year:
The date for the 2005 Pumpkin Run is now set. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 29th at 5:00 PM. I got official permission from the office of the vice chancellor of UNC, Tony Waldrop, who controls access to facilities at the university. They gave me a release form that all participants will have to sign.
I’m working now to get the web site in working order – it hasn’t been updated since last year. I’ve been starting to look at Google Maps to get a good satellite photo of the race course. I searched Google Maps for an address that I knew was close to the course, then clicked on the Satellite link. I didn’t realize that the “Link to this page” link on Google updates to the zoom and coordinates of whatever you are looking at. However, you have to remove the “q=” portion of the link like this – otherwise the map drifts over to the address you originally searched for. You can actually see the outline of the trail that the race is run on, but I’ll use a photo editing tool to outline it as well.
We are probably going to advertise in the Running Journal, a magazine that has a race calendar that many runners in the area look at for races. I think we could fill up the race without it however.
Uh-oh. We think I accidentally threw away the to-do list that Joan and I created right after last year’s Pumpkin Run when all the details were fresh in our minds. This could be a major setback for the organization of the race.
I also have undertaken a major project that’s likely to keep me occupied for at least a few months. On top of all this, we had to take our 3 year old daughter to the hospital after she caught a very nasty stomach virus (she’s almost back to normal now).
I’ll have to regroup and get started on the race planning soon. The first thing to do is to set the date for the race, paying special attention to the UNC Football schedule. I’ll then need to update race web site and set up the online registration, probably through the Sign Me Up Sports service. I’d like to include a Google Map or two of the race course near the Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill, NC.
My wife, Joan Nesbit Mabe has organized a local road race called the Pumpkin Run for the last 2 years. She did a tremendous amount of work organizing the race, getting volunteers, getting permission to use the property – the list goes on and on. It turns out to be a great family event that has gotten more and more popular each year.
Well this year Joan has turned over the reigns to me. Her regret has always been that she doesn’t get to run in the race, so this year she’ll be able to.
I realize the amount of work involved in this because I’ve seen Joan for the past two years work tirelessly to create the event. If you’ve never put on an event like this, just know that there are hours and hours of work that take place before you even arrive on race day.
I’m going to try to use this blog to keep interested parties abreast of the progress I make (or the balls I drop) as this process goes forward. Feel free to follow along and leave comments if you’d like. Or, you can feel free to just show up on race day and run the race, never knowing or realizing the work that was put in. My hope is that others who are organizing a road race might stumble upon this page and pick up on something that they might incorporate into their race. Lord knows I’ve run in some terribly run road races – in fact, sometimes I’ve been the one running terribly.