Sanders Saunter - Recap

Dec. 5, 2010 by Nick "Escher Hawk" Lang

Originally published on Dec. 5, 2010

I think I should start this report with the day before the race.


Friday was a fairly busy day at work. But it was also the day of a KU basketball game. Work was wanting me to stay at home and available incase we had any hiccups with the live game coverage that "": provides. Because the game was starting at 7pm I had to go mark the course earlier than I had originally planned.

I cruise on over to Prosoco Inc. headquaters to meet "Gary": to get the pink tape and the flags for course markings. Gary greeted me with pink flags, tape and some Trailhawk stickers. I gladdly accepted everything and casually made my way over to the Lake. During the drive I was planning out my marking strategy in my head. I didn't want to carry all the signs, all the pink ribbon and all the pink flags for the entire course so I decided I would do sections. Thinking I'd do the back section first I drove out to Lake Henry and did the markings to and from Lake Henry and Marina Rd.

Coming back to the start of the race I took the the rest of the supplies and made my out on white. Marking this section was easy. There were no course deviations, just follow the white blazes (I added some pink flags at any place where I thought runners might get lost or confused. Runners are a special sort. You tell them one thing and they'll nod in understanding and then promptly forget once the race starts.)

I made it out to the one mile marker and I was setting up signs and flags at the Tim Hibbard section of the course (conviently named for Tim Hibbard who missed a turn in last years "Sanders Saunter": During my marking of this section of course I noticed a black, fox, looking animal running across the road. Upon a little further examination I noticed that it wasn't a fox, but infact it was a puppy. A man driving a Jeep stoped on the side of the road to assist me in capturing this stray pup. I wanted to look at his tags (which turned out to just be a white spot on his chest). The man had some peanut butter crackers and we were able to give the little guy some food. He was starving. After we made sure he was comfortable around us the guy loaned me a leash. It was around this time that I realized that I didn't have my flashlight (or any sort of light for that matter) and the sun had offically gone down below the horizon. I knew it was gonna get dark fast especially in the trees.

With the little guy in tow, we decided to skip the section of trail that lead off from the Tim Hibbard section to Marina Road, and instead went back on blue to the trailhead. I could at least get 1 more mile of trail marked cause I needed to get back to my truck anyway. We made pretty good time even did some running. He wasn't pleased to be on a leash I could tell. But I think he was happier being with someone rather than running around aimlessly in the woods. Once I made it back to my truck I decided I would call the Humame Society and see if they would take the puppy. I wanted to keep him, but for various reason I decided it would be best to deliver him to proper care so he would have a chance at being picked up by his owners.

Sucessfully only marking part of the course I called Gary again letting him know that I had to get home for work related purposes and wasn't going to be able to finish marking the course and asked if he would finish for me. He agreed thankfully.


Race day! Well really compared to the day before this day was a breeze! Showed up with coffee for everyone. Most my volenteers were there and we got camp set up. Soon the racers started showing up and signing in. The number of people showing up was really starting to get impressive. Feeling kind of aloof I started just making sure that the business was being taken care of. I had assigned people to registration, I needed to make sure I had my volunteers out on the course. Everything was coming together.

About 5 min before the start of the race I get a fairly frantic phone call from a woman who was wondering if I could postpone the start of the race for her husband who was enroute but got stuck in major traffic in KC. I told her I would wait a little but not the 10 min she requested.

Time to go! Everyone lined up. I counted down, and everyone was off. Now it was time to sit and wait! Exchanging various txt messages with volunteers on the course I was able to keep up to date with how many people were out and running.

The late runner showed up about on time. 10 min late. I let him start I told him where to go. But like all runners, as soon as they start they forget the instructions that were passed on to them. Telling him to turn right once he hit the trees he turned left and missed his first pass over Sander's Mound.

The runners start coming in, I had Sarah Schmit sitting with a pad and paper writing down numbers and times. While I held my iPhone shouted times, numbers and congragulated racers as they crossed the finish line. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I particully like this course cause it's deceptivly challenging.

Putting on races is really a group effort and while my name might be on the top of the list as the Race Director, I find that it's a lot easier to put on a successful race by delegating as much to other people as possible.

Gary - Does a fantstic job of taking care of all the techincal details. Karen - Made the signs for the course. Laurie - Makes sure I don't forget anything. Emmy - Stood out at Marina Rd. telling runners where they needed to go. Caroline - Had two spots on the trail to make sure that racers made both their trips down to Sanders Mound (one at the start and one at the end) Sarah Schmit - Book keeper and time recorder Debbie and Julie - Demarked the course for me after the race. "Garry Gribble's": - Donated gift certificates and offered 20% off for all registered runners on race day.

I'm sure there are people who I've forgotten to thank. But thank you anyway. Like I said before putting on races is impossible to do by yourself. I am thankful for everyones help!