It was a dark and stormy night. Really stormy. Thunder and lightning paired with sideways rain pelted Arts Park at Tempe Town Lake. Cars lined up, lights ablaze, waiting to set up the annual Race For Maggie’s Place.
Course set up usually starts about 1 or 2 a.m. At 5 a.m. Racelab was still unable to set the course. The wind picked up and cones flew. Parts of the course were underwater. Do we cancel the race? What about our over 500 runners? Over 100 volunteers would be arriving shortly.
“Let’s give it twenty more minutes,” we decide in a small car stuffed with four people and supplies.
As the rain shows no sign of letting up, we send out emails to runners and volunteers. We pepper Facebook accounts with alerts that the race is running one hour behind. It’s 6:10 a.m. when the rain subsides and we emerge from our cars. One of our sponsors has access to detailed atmospheric weather tracking. He shows us, on his detailed app, that lightning is moving away from us and clearer skies are coming our way.
Racelab scurries to set the course while staff, AmeriCorps and volunteers from all over the Valley get to work hanging banners, setting up registration, food and sponsor tables. The Kids Zone is a casualty as the grass is flooded and no mother would approve a trip to the bouncy house through the mud and muck. Some race signage has to be sacrificed in the name of time.
To our sponsors, we can’t offer enough thanks for your donations, time, talent and manning booths. Gratitude goes out to Dignity Health, Gilbert Life Runners, AmTrust Bank, Touchstone Health Services, Valley Women For Women, Nova Home Loans, Tempe Smile Design, Oxygen RX Labs, Road Runner Sports, General Dynamics, Stephanie Nault Makeup, Portillo’s, Sparkling Ice, Shamrock Foods, Einstein Bagels, Wille Itule Produce, CoBiz and KFNX 1100.
To our volunteers who manned booths, food tables, water stations and directed runners on the course–thank you, thank you, thank you. Staying at home in bed would have been the easiest of things on a stormy morning.
When the time came to run, we were graced by the sun and temperatures perfect for a race. So whether you ran, stroller pushed, team pushed, walked or just came to watch, we thank you for your dedication to Maggie’s Place and your love for our moms and babies.
Congrats go out to 10K Overall Winners Fermun Villagran and Maureen Maschue; 9K Overall Winners Thomas Koska and Maria Munoz and 5K Overall Winners Sara Nazemi and Ivan Zovko. Want more results? You can get them here: https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-44377
Rain or shine, we thank everyone who participated, donated, volunteered, cheered and came out to help Maggie’s Place. We count our blessings every day–you amongst them.