Running is a pastime that’s been growing on me lately. I challenged myself to run 500 miles this year, and two months in, I have 379 miles to go. This past weekend my wife and I completed the Excalibur 10 Miler in Viera, Florida. The theme of the race was Medieval; somewhat like a Renaissance Fair. Some runners dressed up accordingly, and much of the race decorum maintained the theme. Before the race began, runners were entertained by a battle between two actors from the Medieval Times dinner show in Orlando. It was somewhat akin to the battle between the Mountain and the Red Viper from Game of Thrones, except no one’s head was crushed like a grape. It was entertaining though, and put a unique twist on the otherwise repetitive exercise of running ten miles. In fact, it was the unique theme of the race that first prompted my wife and I to participate.
My wife was really the impetus for my beginning to run. She was on the Cross Country Team in high school and decided to get back into running a couple years ago. I decided to join her, firstly as support, but secondly because I was looking to kick my own posterior into form. However, I could have chosen a multitude of different activities to become involved in. She gets the credit for making that choice to run. Because we live in Florida, she has been signing up for the RunDisney races that Disney World puts on throughout the year. (You can see some of her blog posts here). She loves getting involved with all things Disney, and the races give her a chance to do something active, while geeking out on her favorite childhood nostalgia. (Leave it to Disney to find great ways to merge events into marketing gold). It’s always amazed me how many people really love getting involved with these races, and especially, how many people like to dress up for them. So many people love the idea of showing off as their favorite characters. This all gave me an idea.
I don’t know how to get something like this started – it would certainly take people with more time and know-how than me – but I thought it would be a great idea to have an author run. The race could be any distance, or distances, and the obvious theme of the race would be literary. Racers could elect to dress as any of their favorite literary characters, (I can easily picture a hundred women dressed as Katniss Everdeen) and the race could serve as a sort of literary festival.
It is common, in these races, to have a festival-style area located at the finish. Vendors set up booths, mostly with food, drink, and products suited for runners. It becomes part of the event, something that makes it more than just a run, and it lends itself to creating a race that has a theme. I think it would be a great idea for an author race to have booths set up where you could meet local authors. They could give books away, talk to prospective readers, and gain exposure. It would be a great way for authors to get out from behind the computer and find fans in a unique way. I know I’d be happy to have a booth at an event like this.
So, help me out event planners and runners, let’s get this event off of the ground. I’m sure someone has some great ideas that could add to the event. Post in the comments. I’m interested to know what you think.