Tortoise & Hare Race Series

2016-17 Tortoise & Hare

Season Recap

At the beginning of April we hosted the last race of the 2016-17 Tortoise and Hare series and wrapped up our most successful season yet! With a race each month between October and April, we had 7 races and a total of 391 runners. We also met our goal of finishing at least 100 runners at every race. Woohoo!The T&H races are unique in that participants receive a computer-predicted time that allow runners of all levels to compete equally. Runners start at staggered intervals with faster runners (Hares) trying to catch slower runners (Tortoises). Points are awarded based on how runners do compared to their predicted time and are accumulated throughout the series. Runners that continue to improve their time for each race receive more points. This year Katie Banghart was the overall winner and earned herself a $100 to Runners Roost. Congrats Katie!

Race Director Nick Clark said Katie is the poster child for how we hope runners will participate in the Tortoise & Hare series. She blew the competition out of the water by consistently improving and earning top points at many of the races. Katie started the first race running 15:07min/mile and ending up at 11:16min/mile. She also ran each of the 7 races earning herself a free entry into the FireKracker 5K. Here is Katie’s response when asked about her success and how she learned about the T&H series:

“Thanks so much!! I really enjoyed the T&H series and the entire running club has been great! As a first time runner who felt like they had no business joining a running club it’s been a great experience to meet and participate with wonderful and welcoming people!

Last September my friend Jamie somehow coerced me into signing up for the Horsetooth Half 🙂 I haven’t ran hardly at all since high school, and even then I mostly played sports and never ran any sort of distance. I was pretty nervous about the half marathon and so Jamie and I decided to try the T&H races so I could work on my pace and distance. I was really interested in the idea of the way these races are put on, I liked that we all finished together and never felt discouraged or that I was the slowest one out there. I saw that there were prizes given out to the top 5 when I first signed up but blew that off as I was sure I didn’t have a shot. Once I started getting a couple top finishes I became super competitive and didn’t want to miss a race! When I started I wasn’t sure I could run a mile without stopping so getting to this point feels great!  The club and especially the T&H races helped me out tremendously and have really given me a confidence boost that I think I will be able to conquer those damn hills 🙂 (referring to the Horsetooth Half course)

I’ve really enjoyed training these last few months; getting to know people in the club and this city I’ve lived in my whole life by running the trails! I want to give a big shout out to my friend Jamie McCue who encouraged me to do the Horsetooth Half, cheered me on through the T&H series, and will be by my side when we have a beer at New Belgium to celebrate! 🙂 “

Congrats to everyone who participated and to all our winners! The top 5 runners received gift cards to either Runners Roost or Altitude Running. We also awarded free entries into the FireKracker 5K for anyone that completed all 7 races. Great job!

This was the first year executing our new registration process for the entire series. As the T&H races grew bigger we needed to eliminate race day registrations in order to start on time. This meant we transitioned to online-only registrations using RunSignUp.com. Other benefits of going online allowed us to prep in advance, keep volunteer needs low and it made raceday run smoother than ever. Our biggest issue was communicating the extra step in the registration process that you need to look up your wave number on the FCRC website before finishing on RunSignUp. Thank you to everyone for their cooperation as we made the transition to this new registration process.

We couldn’t put on the Tortoise & Hare races without the amazing help from so many people. First thank you to our Race Director Nick Clark who volunteered his time each month to put on, time and with the help of Greg Smith, set up the course for each race. Ken Banwart, Cathy Ketcher and Tom Schipper made sure the post race refreshments were always taken care of. Huge shout out to Raintree Athletic Club for hosting us and providing hot coffee, especially after those really cold runs. Finally the many member-volunteers that helped out with raceday needs. Between bib pickup and start/finish line duties we needed 6-8 volunteers at each race. Because of all our wonderful volunteers we are able to keep the T&H races free for members. Thanks for all you do and for giving back to your club and community.We’ll do it all over again and be back with the first race next October!

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