As we rush headlong towards the end of the year, we wanted to take a moment reflect on what we have accomplished, where we want to go, and how we can share the journey best with our running community.
First, a quick review of the 2023 running season, even with one last race still to come - With 7 of 8 Pop Up events completed, as well as race directing the Orting Food Bank Bunny Hop and Turkey Trot, we will have had 10 events that we shared with our community. For our own races, we have processed almost 400 registrations this year, with an average of 45 runners per race, which is a 30% increase over the previous year, so we continue to expand and grow, all with thanks to the running community. This 2023 year, we set a goal to provide more charity opportunities, and we were able to raise more than $2500 between just two charity runs outside of our efforts with the Food Bank. We hope to continue this in 2024, with the intent of continuing to use 2 events for charities again. We also introduced the Turducken Challenge officially this year, a series of 4 days of 5k runs, starting on Thanksgiving through following Sunday. While the Greater Seattle area has had the Quadzilla (4 days of Marathons) and Quadzuki (4 days of Half Marathons) there haven't been as many opportunities for those who chose shorter race distances. We want a series that is attainable and yet can be a challenge for all runners, and this year was just the start of that effort. Our inaugural Turducken Challenge saw 28 runners complete a 5k (or longer) each day for 4 days, and netted each of them a custom made wooden medal for their efforts. Thanks to everyone that participated, and thanks for the feedback on how we can improve.. we are already working out the details on a virtual option for those that inquired! So, as we move into 2024, we want to carry some of these successes forward. The Turducken Challenge will be back, and we intend to continue building out the Lil' Firework summer event with our other racing partnerts, offering a multiday series around the 4th of July. We will continue to find and support great charities, working with members of our running community to those charities that matter. And lastly, we want to continue to bring in new runners to our community, which is why we will be working with organizations that support runners of all types, but will have a focus on making our races more accessible to those who are new to running, or those who may require a bit more time to finish their events, and so on. Discussions are still in early stages, but we hope to be stewards of a more inclusive running community!