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, three running mothers to be exact. So today we offer you a chance to get to know us, once face at a time. Todays “Face Behind the Race” is the Founder and Executive Director-Brae Blackley. In her own words she shares a peek into her world prior to race day.
This week my daughter is potty-training. We’ll be reading a book or playing with her stamps, and suddenly, she’ll look at me, jump up and down and say “pee pee, pee pee, pee pee!” We’ll run to the bathroom, rip off her new big girl underwear, and she’ll flop down on her training potty. Then she goes and says with a huge smile “I did it!” It’s totally serious and hilarious at the same time. That’s my mommy-job.
In my ZOOMA-job, I’ve spent a lot of time this week on the phone with various municipal officials – the City of Annapolis Special Events Coordinator, the City of Annapolis Fire Chief, the Operations Director for the Naval Academy, etc. Closing down streets in a busy town like Annapolis requires a lot of coordination and planning. It also requires serious compromise with constituent groups. Business owners are worried that customers won’t be able to get to their stores, residents are worried they will be stranded in their homes, and wedding planners are worried that brides won’t make it to the altar. (I spoke at length this week with the Naval Academy Chapel’s wedding coordinator – 5 weddings this weekend!) We’ve also got to satisfy the Fire Chief that we are covered on the medical side – two ambulances, two EMS bike teams, various personnel, and one “unified command unit” later and we are all in agreement. All these pieces must come into place before race day, and there is usually last-minute drama.
Even though ZOOMA Annapolis is less than a week away, registration is in full swing for our two fall events in Lake Geneva, WI and Falmouth, MA. Next week, I’ll travel up to Boston to nail down the inaugural ZOOMA Cape Cod half marathon and 10K courses with the Falmouth chief of police. I’m also hosting a VIP luncheon with runners and local officials to introduce the race and build excitement for the new event in their town. Even though the ZOOMA team is primarily focused on the 3,200+ athlete race we’re hosting in less than a week, we can’t take our eye off the next races coming down the pike!
You can read more of the story behind ZOOMA HERE,and check back tomorrow for the next “Face Behind the Race”.