This is at least partly by design. What does a race organizer do for fun when he’s not overseeing logistics for an event with 1,000 high-strung participants? Probably something like what we experienced Thursday night.
Sean intentionally keeps the event small—the field is capped at 70 runners, and last week's event had probably half that number. Registration costs just five bucks and pays for computer chip timing on a certified course, with hot dogs, chips, cold drinks, and good company afterwards.
To complete the feel-good story, the registration process offers runners a built-in chance to make a contribution to the organization chosen as the month's charity partner. That's where we come in. YES!Atlanta had the privilege of being this month's partner.
Of course we're appreciative of whatever monetary contribution ends up coming out of the event, but to focus on the money would be to miss so much of the benefit of that night.
During the course of the evening, I met Benjamin of Atlanta Beltline Bicycle (our gracious host for the post-race festivities); a neighboring business owner who saw the hubbub and stopped by; friends and associates of a couple of board members; and runners just there for a good time.
I got to introduce my wife and our little girls around. The three of them met Simeon, my committed partner, for the first time.
I got to run far enough to break a sweat on a pleasant course at a pace that will not cause the current world record holder in the mile to lose any sleep.
As we’ve gotten back in the habit of holding monthly Second Saturday sessions, we’ve rediscovered the power of surrounding the teens we serve with a host of adults committed to being positive influencers. A night like this was perfect for candid, unforced conversation among people united by their commitment to the mission of Coaching for Success.
I was so encouraged to see our teens at ease mingling with folks other than their own mentors. And I was pleased (though not surprised) by the enthusiastic support offered to those teens as each ran his or her own race.