The Dan Cardillo Memorial 5K ran two weeks ago and saw 264 finishers. Clearly not a record-breaker, but always a good-spirited race with 100% of the proceeds going to the scholarship fund for kids needing assistance to pursue their passions. The race contributed just over $5000 this year. Thank you to all who came and ran, and all the sponsors who give a lot, especially in these down times.
On that one weekend, there were no less than six other races vying for runners. I think this is a wonderful statement about the sport of competitive running - it's alive and well and even growing, it seems. It just makes it tough for these competing interests to gain as much benefit for their efforts. Clearly, putting on a road race is not an easy solution for fund-raising. There always needs to be other sources. But it can be an excellent way to get folks up and out and participating for a good cause.
The Cardillo race is in the town of Falmouth, Maine, which has been an outstanding supporter of the event. Falmouth currently has a significant construction project underway, developing a new elementary school and moving athletic fields and facilities, etc. This directly impacts the Dan Cardillo 5K's certified course, as it ends on the existing track.
This turn of events comes at an interesting time in the history of the race for two reasons. One, there has been some discussion 'internally' about rerouting and re-certifying the course to eliminate passage through the Woodlands residential area. There are enough hoops to jump through and solicitations to make without having to keep the course intact every year. One less hurdle would be nice. Second, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which is a fabulously successful event in Bangor (last weekend they had 5000 runners participate,) is coming to Portland in 2010. I believe I read in the Press Herald last Sunday that it is slated for Sunday September 12. That is the second Sunday in September, the day the Dan Cardillo has run for the past 12 years. Ouch, a direct hit.
I feel disappointed and disillusioned about the whole thing, which is too bad. (I'm probably just very tired from these past two months of running-related work.) I want everyone to succeed at their fundraising endeavors, but I think surely there must have been another day in the year without six other (smaller) races trying to succeed.
Of course, I'll deal with the realities of my race and do my best to keep Dan's spirit alive. Fortunately, Jim Skvorak of Homestead Mortgage Inc. also puts on an annual golf tournament in Dan's name to benefit the scholarship fund. Maybe we can co-brand our events and be hugely successful! I'll keep you posted.