I wanted to take a minute and write a quick blurb about a fun opportunity Charlie Johnston and I had helping with the 10th Annual Delaware Kids Fund 5K Run and Walk event this past weekend. You may have seen the email message looking for avid cyclists late last week for the event starting from Newport.
The scheduled motorcycle escort had fallen through and the main sponsor and operator had reached out to WCBC for pacers for the race. So, a little bit about what you do as a “pacer”! When “pacing” the event, you lead out the head group of runners. They take off fast to get ahead of the field of runners and then settle into their pace for the event. Your main job is to give them something to chase (you’re the rabbit) and in doing so you also give the Fire Police, Police Officers, and traffic volunteers a heads up to stop traffic before the runners get to intersections. For this course we had a U-turn at the halfway point of the race, so on the way back we had to not only keep the pace, but also alert the folks at the intersections that the runners were coming while also yelling ahead to the on-coming runners to clear the way for the returning runners or they would be inundated by the runners still on their way to the halfway point! At the final turn to the finish line you just move out of the way of the cameras and fans and slow pedal safely past the finish line ahead of the runners.
I thought that one of the nicest and most rewarding things about volunteering for the event was the runners high-fiving and thanking you for leading them around the course! Quite fulfilling.
For those wondering what the Delaware Kids Fund is about, it is a non-profit that works to provide meals at schools for kids that might not be getting the proper meals at their home. This 5K event raised enough money to stock a local elementary schools food pantry for the next three years!
Be safe, see you on the road,
(Ed. – Ernie Smith is a ride leader as well as an event volunteer. Charlie Johnston is also a ride leader, event volunteer, past Social Chair, past Safety and Education co-Chair, and is very involved supporting other non-profit organizations with their cycling fundraising events in the area. If you are interested in supporting events like Charlie and Ernie did please send me a note and I’ll reach out to you when they come calling. This is another way that we, as cyclists can give back to the local community and from the smiles I see in the picture below looks like it was a fun event for all. If interested email me at President@whiteclaybicycleclub.org)