The Back of the Pack (or BOP) emerged on the Run Wild Missoula scene about 2.5 years ago. The BOP e-mail list will soon pass 170, representing more than 10 percent of total Run Wild membership.
The BOP has name recognition within the running community, and plays an influential role in building club events that address the needs of slower runners and walkers. We now face the question “What to do with our success?” A growing mailing list triggers a desire to grow the program. Growing (or even maintaining) the program means more work by more people.
Run Wild is a volunteer organization. Its reach is defined in large part by the people who donate their time to play leadership roles. The BOP needs more leaders in order to meet its potential to enhance the Run Wild experience.
During these formative years, I have been happy to take the lead in testing the BOP idea. Now I am looking for ways to spread out the role, and the rewards that come with it.
In order to keep our momentum going, I offer to continue:
* Writing a monthly BOP Bulletin and sending it to the mailing list.
* Adding people to the RWM-BOP mailing list, and welcoming those who sign up
* Organizing an annual BOP planning meeting
* Writing or recruiting others to write View from the Back for Running Wild
* Recruiting greeters for BOPers attending their first beer run or breakfast run
* Representing the BOP perspective on the Missoula Marathon committee
* Providing race directors and other RWM program leaders with ideas for making club events BOP-friendly
* Giving talks (on invitation) to community groups and Run Wild classes
I am looking for others who are willing to take the lead for:
* Organizing monthly BOP social run/walk events
* Coordinating the BOP Cheerleaders for the Missoula Marathon
* Working with race directors to recruit BOP cheerleaders and sweepers for their events.
* Working with Eva to develop BOP marketing ideas and SWAG
* Working with the Chancellor of Libations to map a 2.5 or 3-mile route in addition to the 5-mile route for Beer Runs.
The Back of the Pack is an intrinsic part of Run Wild Missoula and enables the club to fulfill its mission of supporting runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. We make the extra effort to ensure that slower runners and walkers feel welcome at Run Wild events and programs. We have considered a number of good ideas over the past 2.5 years, and we have tried many of them on for size. Some have worked; others have fallen by the wayside. It is time to re-evaluate our priorities, pick those projects that bear the most fruit, and increase our capacity to meet the need. Will YOU raise your hand today?
by Pam Gardiner, RWM BOP Leader