Thursday, October 13, 2011

Organizing the PTOS & FAPTO 5K

I haven't been too concerned with making this a post since I've been preoccupied with triathlons this season.

This Sunday Oct. 16 will be the 1st annual PTOS & FAPTO Innovation 5K. I work for the US Patent and Trademark Office and I'm on the board of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, with the FAPTO being the Fitness Center at the Patent Office run by Sports and Health. The idea for the race was conceived by a friend and myself although we found out there was already an initiative to start a 5K at the office. Neither of us knows if this happened because of mentioning it during small talk or the ideas were completely independent. At this point it doesn’t matter, the other race fell through and my friend and I are 2 of the 3 people organizing this race. It originally started as a race for employees only although we decided to open it up to the public. Ideally we would like to do something for the community involving science and technology but, this year we’re just concerned with getting the thing off the ground. Donating money raised is difficult since no one can tell us if the same rules for soliciting money federal employees apply to us even though we’re technically not part of the government…all our members are. We’ve decided that raising awareness of all the programs PTOS has in the community is the way to go this year.

It’s been a great experience so far. We formed a planning committee, came up with a name, came up with a budget, got a sponsor, created a t-shirt design, found a timing company, got the police to shut down the roads and bought medals and prizes for the winners.

It’s amazing how little it took to get people on board. The city was more than happy to let us do it. (Probably because one of the running store owners is on the panel you present your event to) The Patent Office is letting us use just about whatever we want and the Fitness Center sponsored us for the full amount of our estimated budget…even with the 20% margin of error I factored in.

Right around 300 people have signed up so far. Packet Pick-up was held today and will continue tomorrow. I’ve never done more than volunteer for a water stop at a race but, it’s been a lot of fun thus far.

Check back for an update on how the race goes.

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