Earlier this year I met the owner of Blue Point Timing and Race Management in Annapolis, Ron Bowman. He has worn many hats in the Annapolis running community and continues to coach many runners in addition to running alongside them, and is now well into his second year of operating his race management company. It was when I met Ron that I learned about the Ben Moore Memorial Half Marathon and 10K and put it on my calendar as a summer race.
The race is in honor of another running coach, Ben Moore, who was also a Marine and so the race started and ended at the Truman Parkway Park n’ Ride where Ben, and now Ron, begin and end many group training runs. I’ve lived in Annapolis for over seven years but there are plenty of places I’ve not been before and this park n’ ride is one of them. I knew the race was going to be small and registration was going to be held the morning of the race at the start area. As happens with me on all race days I woke up before my 5:30 a.m. alarm excited for the race. I wanted to make sure I’d have plenty of time to get ready, find the park n’ ride, and get registered before the 7:30 a.m. start gun.
I sort of knew where to go to find the start location and even though I knew the race was going to be small I was stumped to find that there weren’t any signs pointing runners to the race location. I also knew that Ron was operating as a one-man show most of the time and that he was relying on a small pool of volunteers to help for the day. I knew I was in the right place because other runners were milling around the parking lot but it took me some time to find the humble registration table set-up. I started to have mixed feelings about the small race. I absolutely wanted to support Ron and his efforts to put on local races. A friend of mine was helping to time the race and along with her volunteer time I always appreciate the work of any volunteer. Standing in the registration line with other runners we talked about how great it was to have such a reasonably priced timed half marathon right in our backyard. And that is when I realized that no matter the size of a race, races are races and runners are runners and that is what it’s all about. Continue reading