2012 Champaign St. Jude Runners

2012 Champaign St. Jude Runners
Our AMAZING group of runners for 2012~

St. Jude Supporters

St. Jude Supporters
After running for 20 hours, the thousands of supporters lining the streets to cheer our arrival is an important and welcome boost!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

So Blogging Plans Went Awry

I have a confession to make.

I figured that I could blog away while Kathleen and I were responsible for being first-year Run Coordinators. No problem!

Well....not so much.

By now, you've figured out that the 2012 St. Jude Run has come and gone. The Run itself went relatively smoothly, and we had a FANTASTIC group of runners. We had a great time, great weather, and some really emotional moments along the way.

Hollywood loves prequels when they don't know what else to do. So, following their lead, I'm going to choose to reset the clock to the clump of time before the Run, and pass on some thoughts about what it was like being new Run Coordinators.

My first thought is a big tip-of-the-hat to Amy Bleich, the previous Run Coordinator for several years. Kathleen and I are in awe of what she accomplished. We had our work cut out for us if we were to keep the ship going.

The previous year, we had two things to do: 1. Physically prepare for the run. 2. Raise at least $750 from donors so we could have the honor of participating.

This year included the same two items, but now we were responsible to ensure that we received sufficient corporate sponsorships to pay for the logistics of supporting the Run. We aren't talking about an afternoon jog around the block here. We require the use of at least 2 vans, a charter bus to carry resting runners, gas for the vehicles from Champaign to Peoria and back, water and food for everybody, along with the ancillary stuff that goes with promoting the Run.

That requires some money. That's were we come in--but we had help.

The biggest fund-raising part of the year was the "Spirited Fun for the Run" held at Jupiter's at the Crossing. That effort was huge, and frankly, Kathleen and I were on the sidelines for that. LK Paden's students were involved in coordinating all of that. Our job was to run student-created promotional posters back and forth to the St. Jude Run office for approval. An early version of the poster had a bottle of bubbly with the cork merrily sailing through the air, followed with a river of booze...that made somebody in the Run Office sit up and take notice of what the First-Year Run Coordinators were doing in Champaign (just noticed the pun there...sorry).

We eventually got a poster that met the requirements of the St. Jude Run office—sans flying cork and flowing bubbly. The event was extremely successful, and we are ever so grateful for what LK and her students accomplished for the CU St. Jude Run.

Side note: if I can describe it as a "brand," the St. Jude brand is a well-respected one. The quality of the organization, the good work they do, the reputation they have, must all be maintained. So it's very important that the St. Jude Run—and by association—St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, maintain a respectable presence.

In the past, there've been some well-meaning folks who strayed a little too far from the fold. When we were briefed by the Run Office about acceptable fund-raising activities, we heard about a heavily frowned-upon car wash with scantily clad young college girls.

That generated a memo or two, I'm sure.

Eventually, the pre-Run fund raising and promotional activities put us in position to be able to pay for all of our expenses, and we were all set in place with 21 runners, and 5 volunteers. We had our minimal complement of runners (it's taxing to run 101 miles with only 21 of us).

With a few weeks to go before the Run, funding in place, runners and volunteers in place, Kathleen and I still had a few important duties to do...one of them was to drive the entire length of the route, looking for problem spots.

That adventure is for my next blog.

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