...But Why Are There Polar Bears On The Island?!!

Every great mystery / sc-fi series immediately follows an answer to one question with two new ones. The best modern example of this is the early 2000's hit, Lost. 

As a ride-or-die fan of this show, I used to go into every episode pining for answers to the show's longest standing mysteries: Who are The Others? What happens if they don't push the button? And, my personal favorite, why are there polar bears on the island? Every season, a few of the big questions would get answered, but not without a whole new set of riddles to obsess over. 

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As you might guess, that's exactly what planning a race is like.

In the past week we've solved our registration mystery: turns out that runners start signing up for 5Ks about two months before the race. In the past 2 weeks, we've averaged 9 registrations a day, with the trend line moving in the right direction. 

To create a little mystery of our own, we raffled of a gift card to Seva, a great vegetarian spot in Ann Arbor. After a couple dozen sign-ups, one lucky runner's name was drawn out of hat- Kimberly H. 

In other Gallup news...we've also picked up about a dozen sponsors, received formal approval from the parks dept., gotten endorsements from all the major running clubs and stores in AA / Ypsi, and will have posters up in about 25 local stores next week.

But, here are some fresh cans of worms that we need to resolve: race day parking, getting the awards completed and at budget, finding two bands for the course, and chasing some liability and insurance papers to appease the lawyers in city hall. It does seem like with every victory (a spike in registrations or landing a big sponsor), there comes a curve ball to navigate.  

For example, after some promising dialogue with a few local bands, I left on foot to do some electrical outlet recon in the park. Dripping in sweat after running the 5K course, I wandered around one of the park shelters in the middle of an anonymous family's reunion, and failed to find a single plug. 

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Fortunately, progress has been made on every item listed above, and I think we'll be OK. A few hours after my failed recon mission, I went on an encore run with a friend, and told him about my frustrations. His response? "That's easy. The bathrooms have outlets you can use. One by the livery, and one in between the shelters." Bingo! And, when I refreshed my inbox post-run, a former client had emailed me back about his band playing the race! It's not a formal commitment until he confirms availability with his band mates, but I have a good feeling. 

And just like that, with the band dilemma nearly solved, a new issue has presented itself. With six weeks to go before race day, we need to get posters printed. The problem? Whether to try to close a few more sponsorship deals before going to print, or roll the dice for a few more days in hopes of more support. 

Alas... I still don't know where those F#@%*+! polar bears came from!

Brent McDermott