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Who we are running for - Blue Star Service Dogs (https://www.bluestarservicedogs.org/) and Bay Veterans Foundation (https://www.bayveterans.org/)
When and where - 20May2023, 09.00 for the 5k, 09.45 for the longer-k, Veterans Memorial Park (John F Kennedy Drive, Bay City, MI)
Those who can't make the event day but still want to be a part, there is a virtual option for you. I only need you to let me know how to get the items to you.
Cost - $10 for the run events (do one or both; we're casual) without the shirt, if you sign up by 13May; $35 for the run events with the shirt, provided you sign up by 7May. Signing up day of the event will get you mockery and stern looks, but those will go away if you add another $5 ($15) to do the race. If there are any leftover shirts on race day, those will be $25.00 - $27.50, depending on size.
What you get - dog tag that will be personalized, the option to add a wicked cool shirt, some exercise, and, most importantly, the satisfaction of supporting two groups designed to help veterans. If you do not want another chain to go with your medal (ex. you did last year's events and you want to keep all your dogtags on one chain), feel free to return the chain to me on race day.
If you would like to make an additional donation to both BVF and BSSD, there is a donation box that shows up after the merchandise section of this sign up. None of that donation, if you choose this option, goes to overhead; every penny will go straight to the two organizations. No passive-aggresive pressuring or judgment on our part if you choose not to add additional funds. We are grateful you decided to do this event to honour the memory of those soldiers and sailors who died while in service, which is what this event is all about.
Capacity - 200, with a rolling start. Because I think it's cool to see the flag pass hands from person to person (see below). I've heard a few of the participants from previous years saying the same thing. The park is also not really designed to hold a horde of people, and I don't think we will get there this year (but would love to be proven wrong); however, there is a trend analysis going on, and all groups involved would love to see that participation trend climb, making future events even more interesting. Open to runners, walkers, and ruckers.
The quick details - This race is not really designed for individual achievement; more the events are about teamwork and honouring the dead servicepeople who gave, willingly and unwillingly, to our country. However, we are not looking to squash competition entirely.
The 5k is a straight-forward, follow-the-markers kind of course with only one exception: whoever is in the lead of the pack carries the American flag. If there is a lead change, then the new leader carries the flag. To put this another way, the flag crosses the finish line first. There will be one for the male participants and one for the female participants. The standard bearer need not be the fastest and can be anyone - barely out of the cradle, one step from death's door, handicapped, civilian, vet, jock, couch potato...anyone.
The longer-k is not so straight-forward. First, the distance will be whatever we feel like making that day, but it'll be longer than a 5k and probably shorter than a 10k, maybe. This is the distance to give a little of yourself, especially to remember those vets who have committed suicide. Roughly every 1.5k - 2k, at an appropriate stopping point, you will be asked to do some sort of exercise: 22 pushups, 22 jumping jacks, run some tires like you see in football training camp videos, carry heavy stuff awkwardly, etc. As with the 5k, the leader is the standard bearer, even if there is a lead change, so the flag crosses the finish line first. This will be a little trickier since exercises are involved and teamwork can be especially helpful; DO NOT LET THE FLAG TOUCH THE GROUND. Hand it off to someone, roll up the flag on the staff and rest it across your shoulders (for pushups), do whatever you need to do to keep the flag off the ground. If someone needs help with the exercises, don't hesitate to assist. As is a common mantra, we will leave no one behind; there is no cutoff and we will remain until the last person crosses the finish.
The standard bearers (M/F for both distances) will be immortalized in a manner similar to Lord Stanley's Cup by having their name and date tacked on to the staff. The fastest people will get their due as well, beer or soda, as the age and tastes dictate.
if you are not able to run the course but would like one of these wicked cool shirts ($30 - S to XL; $31.50 - XXL; 32.50 - XXXL), send me an e-mail at email@example.com and we'll work something out. At least $5 of every purchase goes to BSSD and BVF; everything else goes towards the cost of the item. Buy many of them and be the envy of those who missed out.
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