(I wrote this a couple weeks ago…time to share)
I didn’t sleep last night, in fact I was up before 5 a.m. thinking I was gonna puke. I had spent the previous six hours going over what was going to happen this morning and kicking myself for dreaming too big. The truth of the matter was that I was scared to death. My first ever All Terrain Hero race.run.walk was to begin at 6:30 a.m.
For years I have written business plans…for others, I never really get around to implementation for myself. My daughter wanted a pizza truck, no problem, I wrote the plan…but it was up to her to implement. My husband wanted to expand our racing series, no problem, I know what it takes, but he’s the face, he’s the one that has to do the real work, I’m just in the background.
But, All Terrain Hero is mine. My husband has been an awesome supporter, but he left it entirely up to me to design and implement. This is the show that should be called Fear Factor, because that’s how I felt. What if it fails? What if no one comes out? What if those that do, think it’s lame? I’m not worried about the financial success yet, I just wanted to have an event that people walked away happy from.
So, here is the concept…we already design and mark a race course for our motorsports events, when that event is over, we tear down the course and move on to the next location. Why not use the same course the next morning for people to run on, or walk if that is what makes them more comfortable. I selected a charity partner with The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation to help raise money for them, (check them out, they are awesome.) Would there be any interest? I’ve always enjoyed hiking our courses, maybe others would too.
There are lots of steps when building a business, or at least starting one, most of them are administrative…that part I understand. I hired an awesome designer in Armchair Crisis Designs to help with the logo, I ordered t-shirts from The Sickline, I got banners from Biltrite Signs, business cards from Premier Digital Printing. All of these people are important because they are small business owners like me. Each of these puts food on the table for their families, no corporate highbrow here, just real folks doing real jobs for real people…my favorite kind. It doesn’t matter that they are scattered all over the west, each of them came through for me.
On January 1, I launched our website, two days later I had my first entry and then it got quiet. For the last several months I have been sweating this, not much action, plenty of lookers, but no takers. Maybe I really am out of my mind. My husband tells me a week ago, when I am on the verge of tears and telling him my fears, “It’s not failure unless you quit.” He’s right, and I am not a quitter.
Back to Sunday morning, my phone rings at 5 a.m., someone needs directions to the park. By 5:30, my first racer, Adam is on site. “You’re a little early” I apologize for not being quite ready. He was concerned that there would be a bunch of people and he didn’t want to be late. Well, there isn’t a bunch of people, it is a small intimate group that take the start line at 7:30.
My first racer, the early one, is back in 33 minutes; he ran the 4.5 mile course in just over a seven minute mile. As he crossed the finish line, he said “That was the best course I’ve raced in years, a true cross country course, thank you.” My heart swelled. Next across the line was a runner at 48 minutes, she told me that she runs a 10 minute mile on pavement, she couldn’t believe her trail run was at the same pace. The rest of the group came in before an hour and a half had gone by. Everyone smiled, everyone enjoyed it. I’m counting this as a win. Was it as big as I wanted? No. Will it grow? Absolutely. Thanks everyone for believing in me, if you get a chance, and we are in a community near you, check us out. www.allterrainhero.com