How we ended up at exactly 20,000
June 17, 2013
Our registration team is amazingly accurate. Part of the reason is that our registration coordinator, Barb Meyer, has been at the helm for every Bellin Run since we began in 1977.
The registrations come in waves. There is the Kids for Running program registration deadline and then the entries for the Corporate Challenge. During race week, a wave comes when online registration closes at midnight on Thursday, there is a flood of Children’s Run entries on Friday for that event’s 6 p.m. start, and – finally – the weather watchers and final-minute decision makers race to beat the clock when registration closes at 8 p.m. on Friday.
The Bellin Run participation is calculated by the total of four events: the Triumph Mile, the Children’s Race, the Back to the Road Crew ½ mile for individuals coming back from a major health issue or injury, and the 10K on Saturday.
Officially, there is no race day registration for the 10K. With a race of this magnitude, it just isn’t feasible.
But that doesn’t mean Barb and her team stop helping participants or identifying incorrect information. In fact, the registration and packet pick-up team has an area known as “Solutions” in the registration tent.
They’ll assist with all kinds of problems – lost or forgotten race packets, misspelled names and other incorrect runner or walker information, and exchanging T-shirts that don’t fit quite right.
As glitches were ironed out and solutions found, the registration team made their final tally: 19,998.
That’s when a gentleman approached the Solutions table with his daughter. He and his ex-wife had a breakdown in communication. The girl had trained in the Kids for Running program at her school, but neither parent had registered the child for the actual race.
It was too late for her to run with her school group. They were already in the starting corral and there was little chance of locating them. Apologetically, the dad asked if they could both register so he could run with her.
If we had balloons and streamers, they would have fallen from the top of the tent! The duo would bring the total to 20,000!
Barb fought back tears. A woman filled with so much pride in her commitment to making this flow seamlessly for participants, never in her 37 years with the Bellin Run did she think the 20,000 mark would be reached.
Their registrations were free, Barb informed the dad. Timing chips were quickly laced through their shoes and race numbers pinned to their shirts. A cell phone picture captured their smiling faces, and then the father and daughter hurried to the start line – off to reach their own goal and form a lasting memory, after making Bellin Run history.
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