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Yes authority! Ever been to an event where the speaker gets flustered by the audience? It goes south very quickly. There is a reason why we only have one rule during awards and if you have ever been to our events you know what it is. There are prerace announcements, special announcements and awards. Finally, age group awards. This is the most difficult thing to announce.

Imagine standing in front of hundreds of people, holding a long list of names that you have never read before and having to announce them one by one. If you go to fast, the medals handerouter and the photo dudette get backed up. The next time you are at a SCSE race, asked the announcer if you can do age group awards. Look for the guy with the microphone in his face.

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That will be me. Have a question or want to know why something happens the way it does? Shoot us an email and we will do our best to write about it. Just take one of those and you are set. Every course that we have designed, we have designed. There are a ton of considerations that going into designing a course. The following is a short list of them:. For example, we have been working on a new tri for the past three years. The course is limited by state highways and busy roads so the course needs to fit it in a very narrow box.

It is further narrowed by the lack of roads. Most tris are located outside of populated areas because there are not a lot of large cities where there is a lake, beach, parking lots and roads without a ton of traffic in metropolitan areas. It failed because the road was in awful condition and a couple crossings we could not make safe.

UG all that work down the drain. As a side note, people look at you very strangely when you drive by their house four times with GoPros on the front of your truck and course maps in your hands. Just as the cops. If those do not work, we will likely not hold the event in this awesome location because it is not safe. Three years of work down the drain. I know there are super duper athletes that run our events and frequently win their age group or the race.

Yep those folks are also on our race team. But the vast majority of folks are average runners just trying to beat Emmett to the finish line. I have never won a race, never won my age group and never heard my name called during an awards ceremony. At lots of races you can go to a kiosk and get your finish time, age group position and get your medal. We think that is great and we do it at some of our races with lots and lots of divisions DoLittle. The truth is, doing an awards ceremony takes a lot of time and is way more difficult than you think. There is a reason why no one wants to be the announcer.

Ok back to me. The reason we do an awards ceremony is for all of the folks who rarely hear their name called at a race. If you win all the time, you are likely use to it but for those runners, like me, we never hear our name called and it is a big deal to us. Listen the next time there is a roar from the crowd. Now, one last thing. Remember how great it was to hear your name, have Jeff give you a medal and Rachel take your picture the very first time? Remember that great feeling? That is sportsmanship. Most people never get to experience that. We know there are lots of things to do and places to go but consider sticking around after you run a race and cheer for those age groupers.

Someday it might just be you on the receiving end of all that applause. One more last thing. All of them stuck around and cheered for age groupers and all of them helped at events. Those are special people and I am proud that all of them are now part of our Silver Circle Sports Events team. Interested in becoming part of our team? Email me at racedirector silvercirclesportsevents. Perpetually offended and crabby people need not apply.

A special thank you to our veterans, police officers and firefighters who never hear their name called and nor given a medal for the amazing work they do. The reality is, we are just as busy in the winter as the summer. Really that many! Did you think you we just show up and hold a run? No such luck buckaroo. Did you? Well Shermer, IL and Bedrock are two that come to mind. There is a joke there in case you missed it. Dude what is the point of this article? Nothing really.

The page is called Random Thoughts after all. Tim passed a few years ago and in his honor, we hold the Timothy Gahagan Memorial Frostbite Scramble. All the money raised is donated to the men and women of our local fire department and police department. Those are the folks I call heros. Great question. Since we had a 5K, 10K, 10 mile, half, 20 mile and full marathon…..

Plus, we had three different start times. In many races, there is access to the course from a variety of roads. At the DoLittle, there is only one path and we try not to have vehicles on it since vehicles and runners to not mix well. The solution is to have three support vehicles moving 13 five gallon water dispensers, 9 five gallon sports drink dispensers, 12 back up 5 gallon water jugs, 12 two liter bottles of coke, packets of energy gel, garbage cans, garbage bags and 50 volunteers over a That is the easy part.

I should also mention, these three vehicle operators also must monitor aid stations, runner support calls, medical calls and deal with the RD asking for updates every few milliseconds. Life behind the scenes at an event is certainly entertaining. Next time you are at an event, give those guys and gals a warm thank you. They likely have been up 12 hours ensuring you have a safe event. A chip start is a decision that a race director makes. While a chip start is nice, it is also more expensive since the timer needs additional equipment and staff.

Most race directors are not timers and a timer charges for additional equipment. As a side note, you would not believe how expensive those magic boxes are! There are a couple race directors that are also timers. Like us. Most of the time we will chip start events. There are a few exceptions. I also wrote a random thought on the whole gun vs. I will leave you with one inside timer secret. You always have a gun start time. When you see the timer standing next to the box, they are creating what is called a gun shot.

That gun shot is used for timing if your chip read is missed. We also use it as a backup in the system for trouble shooting. Well I dip my toe into this one with great trepidation. There have been many races over the past few years with short or long courses. Ours included! As you read through the list, remember that race directors may think they are " super-heroes" , but they are just Average Joes and Average Janes with a love of racing. One more thing. Once you get to a half or full there is certainly a reason and most are. Just ask the RD for the certification number or there is a super-secret website where you can see them.

Well now you know.

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Race directors and course managers take great pride in their work and I have never met one that would knowingly have an inaccurate course. As I sit here waiting for a storm to clear pondering hexadecimal formulas, I thought I would pontificate about weather. We get asked about weather policies all the time so here is the deal.

Some courses take thirty minutes to set and some take days. Ha, I used cognizant twice in one sentence. All race directors would rather hold an event than cancel one. Trust me, it takes way more time to cancel an event than to hold it. Besides, most of us got in the business because we love racing. If you race frequently, then you know running can be costly. Here are a few ways to run for cheap or even free. Well at least at our events. Volunteer If you really want to run cheap, run for free. All you have to do is volunteer at one of our events and you can run any of our events for free.

Teams If you register a large team, ask the race director for a discount. Most will offer you one. Series Consider running a series from the same race company. That is 6 races, including 2 half marathons. For summer, consider our Wisconsin Trail Assail Series. Six races, including 4 half marathons for about the same cost. Pledges Some events will allow you to race for free if you raise money for them. Our Move Your Mutt is an example. Free runs Our Last Call run is free is you participate in 8 of our events during the year.

Opt out of a shirt Many races will let you opt out of a shirt to save a couple bucks. Look in your race bag At almost all of our events, we will slip a free race coupon in a race bag or two. Join the crew or SCSE running team Many of those folks you see working at our events with staff shirts or Silver Circle Sports Events Running Team on are actually volunteers that work at most of our events. In turn, they are part of our team and run any of our events at no charge. At the end of the day, no worries mon.

We run backup systems and video to ensure we get everyone. If you are not on the list, just let us know. We will find you. Nice emails get answered first, crabby emails get time added. You would not believe how often we get asked this question. The polite, simple and short answer is nope.

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However, many runners see all dogs as Cujo. It is what others think your dog might be. Want to run with your dog at a race? We are also reviewing courses that may accommodate a dog wave where the course is not an out and back or a trail. Yes that is one of our dogs. He has a tennis ball issue. Hey that is a great question. We had planned a Boston qualifying marathon some time ago and wanted to have BQ in the title but that is a little lame since only you speed demons know what a BQ is. The rest of us common folk just try and do a little marathon. Ha get it? One of the things I most frequently get asked is what to do the night before a race.

Ok, no one ever asks that but they should. Laugh now but it will happen. We drove all the way back to San Diego and then to LA. No so funny. I always pick up my packet the day before. I drive the bike course or run course. I swim the first meters of the course. The second most important thing I do is put everything I need for the race on my bed including my bike.

I then go through my entire check list. We have posted one on our website under the Lake Country Tri race. Actually I go through it a few times to double check. Yes I have control issues. If it is a long race, I tape my nutrition to my bike. I cool my drinks in the refrigerator or get a bucket ice. Then I pack everything. The truth is, I have no idea why I pack everything because I will check it all again that night and again in the morning.

Finally, the most important thing for me is to do nothing. Absolutely nothing except sit on the bed and watch TV or read. I rarely even travel with my family because they want to have fun and I want to do nothing. Ya I know it is weird but I was once at a hotel the night before the Chicago Marathon and as I was brushing my teeth the door of the cabinet fell off and cut my foot. That dude is a timer.

He always looks freaked out because he is a data freak. See timing is a very complicated job consisting of tiny little packets of data called sockets. Timers need to ensure that a socket gets sent from one place to another without interruption. Much easier said than done. In the old days, we would just enter data into a database and push a little button when you crossed.

Happy running. While we will tell you timing is an exact science, it is not. There are all kinds of things that affect your chip read. Here are a few…. No worries. If you ran across the finish line we will have your time. It might be in a backup laptop database, on a GoPro, or in photos but we will have it. However, we won't know you didn't get a time unless you tell us. Just let us know. At all of our races all you have to do is tell the race director or the timing contact and they will fix it for you.

It is that simple. See one can't know what they don't know. Here is a suggestion on what not to do. Go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the Sunday evening news and say how much the race director and timer suck and that you will never do their race again. Well folks, it really is not a debate since it is crystal clear. If you are running a race - note the term race - then the only official time recognized by the USATF is the gun start time.

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Sorry age groupers but that chip time does not count. Here is an article from www. Unofficial chip times for awards destroys head-to-head competition. The winners are based on a separate time trial and it is not always the first runner to the finish. No one really knows who the winners are until the chip times are posted. It could be anyone in any order of finish in the age group. Here is an example; two year-old men are in a 5 km chip timed road race. The first year-old runner starts with the gun and has an official gun time.

The second year-old runner sits on the curb or is in the rest room when the gun goes off. Five minutes after the gun fires and the field clears he crosses the starting mats and finishes in a gun time of , but has an unofficial chip time of The minute runner is the first runner to cross the finish. His competition finishes five minutes later and after waiting for the results to be posted it is determined that the second runner has a faster chip time.

The race organizers give the award to the faster chip-timed runner and not the real winner even though Rule They are sprinting head-to-head toward the finish line with the announcer recognizing the competition.


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One runner edges the other by a step. After the results are posted it is determined that the runner finishing second had a faster unofficial chip time. Again the award goes to the faster chip time and not the real winner. By waiting long enough runners could have a clear course from start to finish.

There are literally hundreds of examples on how this system does not work. It defeats the whole purpose of competitive racing. SCSE policy - generally speaking we will chip start an event. If it is a Wisconsin Trail Assail race, it is always a gun start. Happy Running. Wow it has been some time since I rambled on about something. Here is one thing I get asked all the time. What is the deal with no refund policies at races? Good question. The vast majority of races have no refund policies.

It is difficult to describe the amount of effort that goes into promoting a safe, memorable and quality event before race day. As you bore yourself reading this, think of all those great events you attended and the not so good events. The amount of work and cost that is incurred behind the scenes is extraordinary. Remember that race a few years ago where they ran out of water? Here few things to consider……. When you cancel, we have already incurred those costs to ensure we exceed your expectations.

I will let you in on a secret. If you are really nice to the RD and staff they might move your registration to another event. Want to ensure they do, consider volunteering for the event. If you volunteer at a Silver Circle Sports Events race, you will get your registration moved to another event. Got questions or want to volunteer? If you are an experienced runner you just quivered with painful memories. Look we have all been there. It is one of the most painful things to work through on a distance run. Runner's World has a good article about it but there is a very simple answer.

Just make sure you peal them off before you go strutting around the finish line with your shirt off. The hardest part is starting. What cloths do I need? How far should I run? What should I eat and drink?


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  5. Do I really need to do fartleks and what are they? Get off your rear and start with a walk. That is the single most difficult thing to do. Yes really. The second hardest is to do it the next day and the next and the next. Until shazam! The next thing you know you are a runner. But be careful because soon you will be that slim dude or dudette who is planning vacations around marathons.

    Ah the runner high…. It is much easier on your body and mind. Dreading your next run? You may just be in a training rut. Go to a park and try a new course or a trail run. Most parks have great trails that meander through forests and around lakes. They all have trails of varying distances and difficulties. Just run. We call it running naked. As athletes, we frequently take timing for granted. After all, how hard can it be? There is a chip on the bib and when you finish it magically records your time.

    You never even think about the timer hiding behind the finish line. That is until they get it wrong…. Here is how it works. That chip on your bib is actually a tiny computer that stores data on it. When you get near the finish line, an antenna four in our case sends a signal out to your bib. When the bib sees that signal, it responds with the data on the bib.

    Simple enough. What could possible go wrong? Do you remember at your last race when the race director was giving instructions about your bib placement?


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    Barking over the PA system to make sure you place your bib on the front of your shirt. Ever notice those random people standing around a finish line with a pen and paper or a laptop? Do the timing crew a favor and place the bib where they recommend. You will get a much more accurate timing result. You signed up for the 10K but only ran the 5K. The computer still thinks you ran a 10K but you are super quick. Just let the timer know when you finish and they will take care of it. Otherwise, when they call your name as the winner of the 10K you can do it then.

    When you signed up for the family friendly 5K, you used your name for all 4 members but put the right ages and sex in. Johnson won the 10 and under boys division. Your son will be so proud of you. Place the bib where the RD or timer asks. Ensure all the data is correct when you register. If there is an issue with your results, do not approach the timers. Most timers will have one person who is the point of contact. That person will handle all the discrepancies. Just let them know ASAP and shazam it will get taken care of.

    Run super duper fast and see if you can beat the antenna signals. Our antenna starts to read your chip about 30 feet before you finish and tracks you all the way in. The results are accurate to 0. The chip on your bib actually has to be programmed by the timer before a race. Imagine how long it takes to program chips. Just in case you can ride your bike that fast. If you have an interest in more details, we would be happy to geek out with you and go through the system. As a fellow endurance athlete, I love getting a medal as the overall winner.

    I also love it when I just win my age group. Only problem I am a middle of the pack age grouper. However I have been fortunate enough to place three times in my racing career. Only problem, the race director at each of those events did not have medals. Ug talk about a letdown. So like shirts, we take medals serious. If you're not lucky enough to have a wall full of winner or age group medals, then we hope you take solace in getting a quality finisher's medal from Silver Circle Sports Events. Great question! Cross country runs are typically held at a high school, collage, golf course or some other area that has a large area of open space that is mowed.

    Generally speaking, cross country runners wear spikes. Trail running involves a much large terrain format. It can include everything from cross country type space, rocky areas, open fields, dirt paths, hills or even groomed areas. Much of it is up to the race director. Occasionally, cross country involves trails but not frequently in southeastern Wisconsin. All of the Wisconsin Trail Assail courses include an open field start where runners toe the line for a mass start - just like cross country. After a sprint across an open field, runners enter the trail system.

    For the Wisconsin Trail Assail, most are groomed trails and covered in compacted wood chips. Most people do not wear spikes but you certainly can if you wish. Why are half marathons so expensive? I don't know. Here is an article in Esquire about the sky rocketing prices of half marathons. At SCSE we understand racing is expensive. Heck that We get it. There are a couple ways to race cheaply. The cheapest is free. Volunteer at any event and you can run one of our events for free.

    That's good for 2 calendar years. We have a couple that volunteer at every event and race all our events for free. The other way is to register early. Either way, racing can be much cheaper with just a little planning. How long does it take to cone a course? Again, it depends on a number of facts but its around How long does it take to set up a mud run course? We start preparing a course about a week out. Generally we have the excavators dig the pits days in advance and then test them.

    Sometimes we have to line the pits to keep water in but it all depends on weather conditions. How much does it cost to promote a run? It's just a tshirt, some water and a few medals right? Sometimes but for us its always more than that. Here are a couple examples of some of the costs that your entry fee covers.

    Timing - we own our own timing company now. They still charge us too much. We always have medical on site just in case. The 5K race features a fast and flat course that runs through the Roxshire neighborhood in Midlothian. To mark January 1st, Whether you are participating or volunteering this New Year's Day race has a little something for everyone with a competitive 5K race, 5K walking category, fun and festive formal wear race division pajamas allowed , weight challenge division and January 1st, If Jon Snow and everyone else can survive the Battle of Winterfell, you can survive this run.

    January 11th, Join us for our third annual megsmiles 5K on January 11, Come help us celebrate the memory of Meg Cross Menzies. Proceeds will go to the megsmiles Charity. January 18th, Join us for our third annual megsmiles 5K on January 11, The course begins and ends at Midlothian Middle School and runners will traverse roads, sidewalks, paths, bridges, and Colonial Sports, Inc. March 21st, Starting Time and Place a. CourseThe race will take place on historic Civic War battlefield trails March 21st, Join with the Old Dominion Chapter of Canine Companions for Independence in putting more highly trained assistance dogs into the hands of those in need!

    You and your fur baby can run or walk the second annual Give a Dog a Job 5k which is a fundra March 22nd, A six year tradition, The Hill Topper 5k takes runners through the beautiful neighborhood and parks of Church Hill and ends right in the middle of the Church Hill Irish Festival. March 28th, Join with the Old Dominion Chapter of Canine Companions for Independence in putting more highly trained assistance dogs into the hands of those in need! Richmond, VA 0. Democracy Dash 10K at Jamestown Island August 24th, Starting on the service road adjacent to the start of the Virginia Capital Trail, the course takes a quick left onto the Colonial Parkway towards Jamestown Island, crossing over the causeway.

    Richmond, VA 2. West Chester, OH Powhatan, VA Warsaw, VA Richmond, VA 9. Richmond, VA 1. Mechanicsville, VA Richmond, VA Fido 5K September 21st, A fun run that you and your doggo can enjoy together! Midlothian, VA Ashland, VA Amelia Court House, VA Richmond, VA 3. Round Up Bubble Run! Louisa, VA Open Arms 5k October 19th, Open Arms provides homes for families and individuals in medical crisis that must travel to receive medical treatment.

    Fredericksburg, VA The wind stayed down until about 1pm, allowing everyone to get a feel for our models, it was a beautiful day at SeaSide Reef. Thank you to everyone who came down to test out our boards that are carefully crafted, and always hand-made in the U. It means a lot to us to have customers who are proud to know where their surfboards come from. See you in Spring for Camp Shred! For all the early bird holiday shoppers out there wanting the best deals in time for the holidays, Cyber Monday is your day. This year we are offering a little something for the non-procrastinators helping in their pursuit of shopping perfection.

    Monday November 28th we are putting almost everything in our online store on sale. From sunglasses to surf accessories, there should be a little something for everyone. There are several buy one get one free deals as well as percentages off almost every item in the store. Another reason not to stand in line somewhere at 3am and shop from the comfort of your couch.

    Dealers Jason Bennett. You have no items in your wishlist. Home Blog Newsletter. Created At Added By. Spring Specials. Holiday Specials This holiday season we want to offer you a few more deals to get the blade you have had your eye on under your feet.

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