Chuck Orton, Dan Cass, me, Joe Kisiel (my oldest brother) — these guys have had my back at the HT5K since it’s inception in 2005.
As race director for the Her Times women’s 5K I get all the kudos and glory (and also the criticism…though there’s never much), but there are many, many, many people who help me pull this thing off.
I am certain I will forget someone (and please forgive me if I do), but here goes:
Chuck Orton and Dan Cass got up at the butt-crack of dawn (not even dawn) to drag nine million items out of the ERC storage locker. Then, they set up/tear down the entire race course (cones, signs, parking, barricades, etc). In between, Chuck ran the finish line volunteers and Dan road marshaled. These two guys — one of which is my husband and one of which is my old running partner — have been with me since Race #1 and are probably the two who endure the greatest amount of my whining, bitching, fretting and freaking out prior to race day. I’m eternally grateful…and completely dependent on both of them to pull this thing off.
Dave Comi with Ange Eberlein (6th overall) and Pam Wassell (5th overall, first master).
Dave Comi, ERC President, has always been there for me, too — answering questions, calming me down and helping me in ways too numerous to list.
Mike Vieyra spent hours devising a new course this year and meticulously measuring it.
DJ Kelly, aka Larry Kisielewski
DJ Kelly aka, Larry Kisielewski has been pumping up the volume and getting us ready to run since the very first race in 2005.
Dottie Mahoney is the ERC Club’s treasurer, aka “the money lady” who helps me keep track of race finances and cuts me checks almost as soon as I hand her the receipts. She’s also a friend who, each year, is a great help with registrations. This year, she got a break as we pushed registrations online.
Lisa Shade is my Erie Times-News liaison, and also my friend and running partner. Lisa, too, has been there from Race no. 1 assuring me that nobody cares if it rains…they’ll come and run anyway (and they d0).
Designer and friend, Holly Waychoff, helps me each year with my application, my t-shirts and my awards. She also serves as a listening board for my incessant whining. Holly is not a running friend…yet, but…I think she will be some day, right, Holly? (I’ll get you eventually.)
Jim Lang, timing-guy extraordinaire (Big White Trailer timing), who I am fairly certain wanted to throttle me at least a three times this year, but never let it show. I promise, promise, promise we will use chips next year (You all heard that, right?…Jim, you now have witnesses).
Running friends, Leanne Parmenter and Heather Dunkle, my niece-in-law, Bethany Kelley, and my parents, Joe & Willie Bruce, came over on Thursday night to help me fold and sort nearly 800 shirts.
Shari Robinson at Forte Marketing always delivers (literally) the shirts. I never have to worry if the shirts will come in on time because I know Shari will make sure they do. This year, she even got us bumper stickers when I got the grand idea to make some two weeks before race day.
Rhonda Berlin and Robin Smith worked their tails off with me at pre-race packet pickup.
Frank “the enforcer” Mainzer, myself and Chuck Orton
Frank Mainzer and his wife, Joan, have also been there for me from race No. 1, too. Joan always helps at registration and Frank keeps order— literally — pointing out the day-of-race versus preregistered lines, and then he heads to the finish line to keep order, too. He also brings a tool kit for race day that contains anything…anything a race director could ever need, including a step ladder, hammers, nails, three kinds of tape, etc. Frank is a retired brain surgeon, so his penchant for order and preparation is understandable and completely appreciated by this race director!
Registration workers are on the front lines and, this year, thanks to some registration database problems, they had the daunting task of telling a lot of women that we were out of the shirts that they thought they preregistered for and fixing a lot of problems (wrong names, ages, etc.). They took the heat for me this year and, ladies, I love every one of you for it: Mary Kaye Pazder, Laurie Thompson, Rana Evanoff, Sheryl Barner, Suze Carstarter, Theresa Wigham, and Robin Smith. I owe you, girlfriends.
Road marshals are the guys keeping you safe out there and making sure you stay on course. Because of the new course, I needed more than I have in past years and several guys stepped up. I can’t imagine WHY they’d want to spend two hours cheering on ladies, but…. I’m glad they do . This year’s marshals/great guys: Clarence Mason, Greg Wigham, Joe Kisiel, Tom Shade, Tom Twohig, Jack Byers, Jim Carstarter, Ken Berlin, Cameron Livondoski and Ted Williams.
Marshals Ted, Tom T. and Jim C. went above and beyond this year, making sure the kids’ courses were measured out and marshaling those as well. Thanks to all you guys for having our backs!!!
Trisha Clark and Tracy Jenks working the finish line
Finish line workers help Jim Lang with results. Were not for all these folks pushing buttons, entering bib numbers and reminding you to “stay in the order you finished” at the finish line, the results would not be as fast or accurate. Thank you to: Robb Frederick and his son, Jackson; Dennis Albrewczynski and his sons, Joey and Matt; Jason Parmenter; Tracy Jenks; Trisha Clark; David Comi; Teresa Wigham and Suze Carstarter.
My sister-in-law, Jodie Cass, and my daughter, Kelly Cass, helped with the kids races, cheering and handing out prize packs to each finisher. They also helped out in the kitchen with my mom, getting the post-race refreshments ready.
Rick Godzwa, ERC merchandise sales, put together some good deals for the ladies (he knows we love a bargain!)
Thank you to Marnie Mead from Erie Moms (and Dads).com for the GREAT kids’ race finisher bags this year. The bags were stuffed with fun things for the kiddos this year. (note: they especially loved those inflatable swords!)
The Girl Scouts Western PA handle the babysitting each year and I love, love, love them for it. It’s a valuable service to offer at a women’s race and they do a bang-up job each year. I never have to worry about babysitting because I know Courtney Soder and her volunteer Girl Scouts have it covered! Thanks also to Nancy Irwin at GSWPA who makes sure everything is taken care of.
Assistant park ranger Jeremy Rekich makes sure the Rotary is open, the bathrooms are clean, and that I have all the barricades, etc., that I need for my race. PISP rangers are always wonderful to us and we, as a club, try to show them the love right back by taking care of the park and being sure to leave no trace of our races.
OK…..I think that’s it.
Whewwww……see what I mean? It takes a village.
That said, I need more villagers.
I’m really bad at asking for help, but I know I need help if this race is going to continue because I have no doubt that it’s going to continue to grow.
So, stay tuned because I’ll be putting together a Her Times 5K race committee and asking for volunteers to take on certain segments of the race preparation/execution. Being the organized, anal person I am, I will be sure that you know exactly what the duties are and what’s expected of you before you sign on because I know that you are busy, too, and you need to know what you are committing to.
Thanks to all those who have helped us more than DOUBLE the attendance at this race over the last few years. Imagine what we can do in the next five years.