Women’s Distance Festival

2008-07-12-AM-08-24-352[Results] [Photos] Two words………impressive.  The29th annual Women’s Distance Festival was held this Saturday.  Over 450 women and children participated in this quality event.  The event was a 2 mile, women’s only, race in Springfield’s Washington park.  The race was held to benefit “Girls on the Run,” a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect & healthy lifestyles through running.

The first thing that jumps out to the observer is the attention to details.  Susan Helm, race director, left nothing behind.  There were trophies and popsicles for all the kids, ABE-FM was on remote, there was an aerobics session prior to the start to get all the women and girls warmed up for the race, and there was a table next to the port-o-potties with flowers and hand sanitizer.  I have never been to race with hand sanitizer in all my years.

Besides all the hard work that Susan put into the race there were ample volunteers.  All the guys that normally race the Springfield circuit were more than happy to help out.  They actually took pride in their work and made for a very smooth event.

The race began promptly after the aerobics session and national anthem.  The weather threatened but turned out to be a nice day.  It was amazing how many walkers and runners participated.  I believe that normally races are too competitive for most people to want to enter.  This race seemed to be stress-free for the runners and walkers and more of a camaraderie between participants.

100_0452There was also a great Kids Fun Run including complimentary t-shirts to the first 100 who registered.  As my kid did not a get a t-shirt there were way more than 100 in the kids race.  They all seemed to have a wonderful time.  Especially getting to run with the giant Kangaroo.

Not only was there a large volunteer and participant turnout but there were quite a few spectators as well.  There was no lack of cheering for mom’s, girlfriends, friends, family members, daughters, and everyone.

Afterward, the awards ceremony started promptly.  There is nothing worse than waiting around for hours after a race to hear the results and stay for the ceremony.  The ceremony began shortly after the kids event and was a real friendly atmosphere.

Great job to all the participants and volunteers.

More information about this race can be found at www.womensdistance.com