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There’s the experience of buying a new car and suddenly seeing similar ones everywhere on the road. They were always there, but you didn’t notice them stand out until you were in one. A similar thing happens when you enter the world of endurance sports. It’s like platform 9 and 3/4 from Harry Potter appears, and a whole world that was always right there, but previously invisible to you, comes into focus, and you’re seeing the world through new eyes.

I love that feeling. It reminds me that there is always something new to be found, even in places where we may have abandoned hope. (I’m thinking of my tortured relationship with my homeland of Central PA.)

Of course, then you have a new problem. Now instead of having no idea that there were so many races around, you have tons of them to choose from. It becomes the difficult task of the local race director to make their race appealing to the running community outside the town where it happens. We had great success with the first annual Roger Snyder Memorial 5K in Richfield in 2012. I am hoping to keep that going in 2013, and establish it as a “must do” race on many calendars.

With that in mind, we are not only adding a 10k course to this year’s event, but also providing an additional incentive for those whose calendar fills up with races all the time, but who enjoy something different and novel from time to time.

We discovered that our race was scheduled for the same day as another nearby race, that has grown rapidly in popularity. The Night Flight, at Camp Mount Luther, put on by the Mid Penn Trailblazers. They happen almost 12 hours apart, but most people prefer one race a day.

As I am trying to encourage participation in the Roger Snyder Memorial, and also a huge supporter of Camp Mount Luther, and  a major fan of the MPTB, the most awesome running club a slow fat guy could stumble into and find a welcome among serious runners….

It is my pleasure to announce a way to encourage people in the area to do both runs:

The Day and Night Award

The premise is simple: run both, and no matter your times, or whether you do 5k, 10k, or one of each, you get something for participating in both. This was inspired by my experience with the Run Amish Country Road Apple Award, which I got for running both the Garden Spot Village 1/2 Marathon and the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon in the same year.

20120908_111452Also recognizing that races are often staffed by volunteers who are runners themselves, you can qualify for this award if you are on the volunteer staff for one of these runs, and a participant in the other.

The runs themselves are very different. The Roger Snyder race is a standard road 5k/10k, at 9am. The Night Flight is a trail run, in the dark. But both are great fun, involve wonderful people, and are followed by an insane amount of food.

How do you register?

1. Register for the Roger Snyder 5k on active.com or via paper form. Email inthebeginningpreschool@gmail.com to get a form.

2.Register for the Night Flight.

3. Email me directly to let me know you are in! andynmeg@verizon.net And drop by the Facebook page to see who else is committed so far.

4. Actually show up and do them both.

They will presented after Night Flight Awards, once I can confirm finisher lists agree.

I have a couple options for what the actual award will turn out to be, but as soon as I narrow it down, I will post something. It will NOT be a tshirt. It will NOT be a plaque with horse manure. That’s been done. 😉

Disneyworld has the Goofy Challenge, Runners World’s new festival has the Hat Trick, and now Central PA has the Night and Day.

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