Face Behind the Race-Brooke

We are constantly inspired and moved by the women that run our races. At each start line you can find mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. Each person has a story, each one has accomplished amazing things to make it to race day. Around every race we ask for you to share your story and we highlight one on this blog. In getting to know our racers better we realized that relationship should go both ways. ZOOMA Women’s Race Series is made up entirely of women, running mothers to be exact. So today we offer you a chance to get to know us, once face at a time. Yesterday we featured Brae Blackely,the Founder and Executive Director. Today we get a glimpse into the busy world of Brooke Reiley, the Director of Events.

May 24, 2012

 My real “go” time starts for me on the Tuesday of the week before the race. This is the time EVERYTHING I have been working on starts to come together, all at the same time. In other words… busy.  And today, I have to get the mailed packets out. All 558 of them. Yep, like I said, busy.

 5:00 pm: They are done! Dropped off at the post office. Finally, after 2 days of putting these things together. I have 10 mins before my little boy gets  home from the sitter, so I sit down to open up the mail from today. 5 more mailed packet requests that seem to have taken a week to get here from the post dates. Sigh.

 Next week will be the same. Finalizing, coordinating,, making sure all of my ducks are in a row. Wednesday I will leave my husband and child for the next 5 days. Can’t believe I won’t put my boy to bed for 5 whole days, but it’s race time, gotta go. The brightside is that I get to see my nieces and sister! If you don’t already know, Brae Blackley, is my sister and I am so extremely proud of her and what she has started, but that’s another story for another time. 

 Thursday I will arrive at the Potomac River Running Company for packet pick up.  I am excited since I have never seen this location and have heard it is a great store. I will finally get to meet the staff at PRRC that I have been coordinating with for a while now. Always great to finally put faces to names. The volunteers and myself will bring in 2,000 goodie bags and shirts to set up and our timing partners, Big River Running, will get their systems up and running and we will be ready to go! After 8pm, I will pack up the extra bags and shirts and head home to relieve my nieces sitter since Brae will be at an event hosted by the fabulous gals of Another Mother Runner, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell. I will sadly miss this, but duty calls.

 Friday, Brae and I will pack up the car and head up to the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis. Here we will make sure the layouts are correct and help assist the vendors with their set up. Tricia will meet us there to help get the registration and volunteers ready to go.  She is really great with people and is a huge asset to the team on race weekend. The race operations team, Corrigan Sports, will have been setting up at the Stadium since 8:00am.  I will go meet them in the afternoon to do a walk through. This is when we all come together to make sure all of our plans and needs are met.  I will head back to the Doubletree to finish up the ZOOMA Marketplace. After we pack up, we will grab dinner and head to the Loew’s Hotel for some sleep! Well… maybe. 

 Race Day. 4:00 am wake time. Report at 4:30am, like we do for every race. I usually don’t sleep too well the night before.  I am always thinking of a million things that I should have paid more attention to, but this is the real go time. Before we arrive at the Stadium, we will have to drive part of the course to switch the detour messages on the VMS boards. After completing that task, we will head to the Stadium to again, assist the vendors in arriving and set up, check in and instruct the 100+ volunteers. This is when it really gets going. There are always some volunteers that do not show up or go to the incorrect location, so this is where I scramble to get those positions filled. Always before the start, there are vendors that have last minute requests, runners that need assistance and volunteers that have questions. Needless to say, it is chaotic for me for a bit. Usually about 5 minutes to the start, we are contacted that the race is about to begin. We all try really hard to stop what we are doing and dash to the start line. Seeing all of the women lined up and ready to run is breathtaking.

I remember the first time I watched the start of a ZOOMA race. I was so moved and I surprisingly got emotional. It was so incredibly powerful and strong. I will never forget it. Looking at everyone, I always feel a sense of pride. We did this. 3 of us. We have worked so hard to get to this day, this time. There is no turning back.  Here we go, the ZOOMA team, let us know how it goes.

Brooke with her son at ZOOMA Great Lakes