Nolan Painting has put on the Reindeer Romp 5K run / walk for the last 15 years and on December 8, 2013 this Romp was the craziest one yet due to the heavy snowstorm. We have held the Reindeer Romp in really nice weather, sunny and in the 60’s, and we have had it in rain snow events. But we have never had it in the middle of a 2-inch an hour snowstorm! As you can imagine, as race director I was very nervous. The weather forecast only called for a “dusting” to an inch; I was not expecting people running in several inches of snow!
We had 600 pre-registered runners and we had a number of sponsors. This event was going to raise $18,000 for the American Cancer Society.
By 2 p.m. we had 5 to 6 inches and everyone was calling, texting and emailing me to see if the race was going to be canceled. I stuck to my plan: no cancellation. Note: rescheduling was not an option; bananas, soft pretzels and volunteers are perishable. Thankfully nearly 50 volunteers made it. Plus we had tents, porta potties, permits and fees for the police. You get the idea. There was no turning back. By race time it was just starting to taper off for a total 8.6 inches.
I was nervous that someone would get hurt. But then I thought if someone was crazy enough to run in a snowstorm then they were taking that risk. The race kicked off on time and 140 brave and dedicated folks showed up.
To the people who tried to make it and were stranded, I am sorry. I heard from many of you that you were frustrated by traffic and icy roads and were forced to turn back.
We did give the American Cancer Society over $18,000. Thank you to everyone involved. Lets hope for the other extreme next year: Sunny and 60 degrees. That sounds great about now amidst another snowstorm.