Opening a running retail store has been a blessing and a challenge, but I must say, doing something that has never been done before was almost more of a challenge. What started as a pipe-dream, turned into a possibility, now a reality in just a couple months. Thanks to the hard work of Kat Williams at Start 2 Finish Events we would like to announce the first half marathon in Franklin and I believe Williamson County as well.
As a new running store in the area, I didn’t have a huge marketing budget. So far most of our advertising had been social media and word of mouth. We did not have the advantage of media attention on our grand opening in February. I wanted to make an impact and I am always thinking outside the box. The more people I had talked to about bringing a half marathon to Franklin, the more I saw it as an immediate possibility.
I have always enjoyed the Franklin Classic because it offered a 10K which is something we don’t get a lot of out in this part of town. There are 5Ks pretty much every weekend, but my personal favorite race is the half marathon, so why not go big?
Deciding on a date was one of the most challenging aspects. Country Music Marathon and Tom King 1/2 have the foothold on Spring. Franklin Classic, Nashville Women’s Half and Murfreesboro Middle Half dominate Fall and Winter is “snow” fun so Summer seemed the next logical choice. I wanted something after Country Music that people could maintain their training through the months following. We settled on late June for the inaugural race.
A race is a powerful way to draw attention to charities and causes and sometimes motivates us to train a little harder, complain a little less, enjoy life a bit more. I very carefully considered which direction to go on charity sponsors. There are three main charity categories in my mind: Sick, disabled and children. I also wanted something local. Waves, Inc. was a natural choice. They have been around for a long time, they support both children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I also want to make sure that the promotion of healthy lifestyles is not saved just for the able-bodied and able-minded. We ALL need to do more and eat less. Waves was enthusiastic with the partnership and hopefully this event will raise more awareness and more funds for their service to the community.
The course presented another challenge. We originally wanted the course to start and stop in Downtown Franklin, like the other Franklin races, such as the Franklin Classic 5K/10K, Jingle Bell 5K and the new WillPower 5K. The reality of all the road construction with additional street closures for a 3.5 race made it impossible in city limits. The next logical step was Leiper’s Fork, which really should have been the first option from the start. The course is gorgeous. What a contrast this race will be from the hustle and bustle and skyscrapers of Country Music Marathon.
We are extremely excited about this race. So far signups are going strong. We have already had people from Nebraska and Alabama register. This is a local race with local race directors, so we can easily implement feedback and suggestions to make it your race. Yes, Kat Williams and I are the architects of this race, however, just as Run Franklin is YOUR store, we want this to be YOUR race too. The feedback we have received has basically been in alignment with our vision: Keep it reasonable in price and have a party afterwards. The cost for the race is $45 until June 1 when it jumps up to $65. We are also working diligently to get a post-race party with food and music.
While we do not want this to be a mega-race, the more people we have, the more resources we can pour into it to make it an event that you want to do year after year. We look forward to seeing you there. Please spread the word by sharing this on your Facebook or email it to your running friends. http://www.FranklinTNHalf.com