Every year after the Wally Waddle my wife Lisa and I spend much of the 5+ hour drive back to Rochester, NY discussing the race. We talk about what went well and what we can improve. After 6 years we still find little details that need tweaking and some big ones that’ll I’ll get to later. It is the nature of race directors to worry about all the things that didn’t go as planned. But it’s also important to remember the successes.
We had beautiful weather and a fantastic turnout. Every year the race draws more families as evidenced by the growing number of kids mile participants and family 5k teams. The best part of the Waddle for me is seeing kids, parents, and grandparents all taking part in the various races. Three generations of Perks were at the race. We had a Perks in each event as well several volunteering. My wife and my mom have both spent their last 6 Mother’s Days at the Wally Waddle helping make the day great for others.
One of the ways we measure success at the Wally Waddle is by how much money we raise to help send children to YMCA Camp Segowea. This year we raised $3000, all of which goes to helping kids in the Hudson Valley attend Camp Segowea. By running the Wally Waddle 5k you are helping kids have a camp experience in which they will learn, play, and grow. The kids and volunteers thank you for your support!
When Lisa and I do our postmortem on the race we typically find small issues that we want to correct: the food table needed more knives, we forgot the camp alumni prize mugs, we didn’t order enough XL shirts, etc. This year, however, we had a big glaring problem. Our timing tent blew over, all the computers crashed to the ground, and the chip timing system that normally spits results as soon as runners cross the finish line took hours to get sorted out (You can see all the results here). As a result many of you sat around in the hot sun for much longer than you should have to find out how you did.
As a runner there are only a few things I really need from a race. I want an accurately measured, easy to follow course and accurate, timely results. This year we failed to give you accurate,timely results and for that I am truly sorry. Although we had a manual backup system in place and we did eventually get the complete chip timed results, we made you wait far too long for awards. I appreciate the patience you showed sticking around for the awarding of the pies and promise we will do better next year. Next year we will award the pies just one hour after the 5k begins.
We have some other changes in store for next year’s Waddle, the biggest of which is moving all the races up by 30 minutes. In an effort to get people out of the heat and on with their Mother’s Day, we will start the kids 1 mile race at 9:00 am, the kids 100 yard Wally dash at 9:20 and the 5k at 9:30. The awarding of the pies will begin at 10:30.
From me and the all the volunteers who help put on the Wally Waddle each year, thank you for your support. We hope to see you next spring at a more tightly-organized Waddle.