Featured Committee: Keeping the SEA 5K Running

Charlene "Clarkie" Clark and Carol Beaudoin, both members of Chapter 1 and the Road Race Committee, pose for a photo before the 2013 SEA 5K.

Charlene “Clarkie” Clark and Carol Beaudoin, both members of Chapter 1 and the Road Race Committee, pose for a photo before the 2013 SEA 5K.

Over the last few months, we’ve been profiling the SEA’s committees (see the previous ones here). This week, with the 21st SEA 5K Road Race and Fitness Walk a little more than a week away on April 5, we profile the Road Race Committee. We caught up with Jennifer Day, who is in her first year as committee chair, to find out more about the members who keep the SEA 5K running.

Question: What does your committee do? What function does it serve for the SEA?

Answer: The committee plans and executes the SEA 5K Road Race and Fitness Walk. This year marks the 21st edition of the SEA 5K. Every year, all proceeds from the SEA 5K benefit the SEA’s Operation Santa Claus, which provides Christmas gifts to more than 3,000 children across the Granite State.

Road Race Committee Chair Jennifer Day, left, and committee member Dianne Blodgett hand out bibs to runners before the 2013 SEA 5K.

Road Race Committee Chair Jennifer Day, left, and committee member Dianne Blodgett hand out bibs to runners before the 2013 SEA 5K.

Q: What would happen if the committee didn’t exist? (Put another way, if there was no committee, what wouldn’t get done)

A: Well, the road race certainly wouldn’t happen, and Operation Santa Claus wouldn’t be able to help as many children.

There’s a lot that goes into planning the SEA 5K. A bit of what we do includes: updating the application brochure before the applications are sent to the printers; picking the colors for the race T-shirts for the runners and the volunteers; completing the necessary paperwork for the permits and contracts to hold the race; and maintaining the database of runners who have entered the race. We meet the afternoon before the race to start setting up for race day. On race day, with the help of our volunteers, we register runners, hand out drinks and snacks, and distribute T-shirts. One committee member, Bruce Vanlandingham, brings his motorcycle to guide our lead runners along the course. Afterwards, we pack everything up and load it in our rental van. It sounds like a lot, but it’s worth it, placing state employees in a positive light; encouraging exercise and ensuring that Christmas gifts go to New Hampshire’s disadvantaged children.

Q: How many are on the committee?

A: The Road Race Committee has 10 members from various agencies across the state; Safety, DOT, DOIT, DES; DHHS, and retirees from Chapter 1.

Q: Can any SEA member serve on the committee?

A: Yes, and the committee would certainly welcome more members, as many hands make light work.

Q: How often does the committee meet, and what kind of time commitment is involved? What’s a typical meeting like?

A: The committee meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m., from September to March, with a recap meeting in May. The committee has the summers off. 1. A typical meeting consists of an update from the committee member who regularly attends the CARS [Capital Area Race Series] monthly meetings, as the SEA 5K road race is part of  CARS.

Q: Why should members join your committee?

A: It’s a great event to be a part of. Every year, it draws a mix of walkers, competitive runners and casual runners, which gives it a great atmosphere. Plus, you’re helping raise money for Operation Santa Claus.

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