Since 1967 the Bakersfield Track Club (BTC), which started as a handful of runners who gathered at the bluffs to run, has matured and is now facing a dilemma as the organization looks to 2020 and beyond.
Over the years the BTC has provided support and been a valuable resource to many non-profits and other organizations that have relied on the guidance and wisdom of our Board. Our Board is fatigued, many of us serving over 20 years!
We are facing a crisis and need the next generation of runner to step up and help us. Without active commitment and support from the community we will be faced with stopping those BTC events you have loved for many years (The Bakersfield Half Marathon, The Kern River Trail Runs, and Summer Series) and possibly shuttering the BTC. Over the years, as we have diminished in support we’ve already seen the loss of prior events like the BUMR (Bakersfield Unofficial Marathon Run), Rio Bravo Trail Runs, and The Poker Run. We won’t just be stopping our events, we will be stopping what support/timing we have provided to community non-profits.
How can you help?
This isn’t about just making a pledge to help. This is about actually taking action (i.e. get your hands dirty)! This is about making a commitment to sacrifice for the overall good of something beyond yourself. This includes often losing that training Saturday and spending your Saturday morning (and sometimes Friday afternoon) helping a non-profit to achieve their goals.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
It is about the willingness to step outside your comfort zone and take what you have learned by participating in past events to jump in and just do what needs to be done.
How Do you Start?
Come to the BTC Monthly Board Meetings at Rusty’s Pizza (10824 Rosedale Highway, Bakersfield). We meet the second Wednesday of each month (except July) from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Volunteer at an Event
If it’s on the BTC Events page (www.bakersfieldtrackclub.org/events/) then chances are we are at the event helping. Volunteering is not always pretty, it’s not always fun (in the moment), but the memories, the life long friendships, the laughs, and the beers have been what have kept us all going for so long.
Learn to Time A Race
This is where we face one of our biggest obstacles. Timing is not for everyone and it’s not simple. Of all the commitments, timing takes the biggest. The obligation to time doesn’t just happen on race day and isn’t something you just show up to, it happens days up to the race, the evening before, and race day. If you like databases, excel files, and like to tinker with programming then this is something you will love!
All of these being said, the current Board doesn’t have any special skillset that you don’t already possess. We are like you, we didn’t know what we were doing, we made mistakes along the way, we cried, cussed, and drank a lot of beer. But one thing we all have a love for the sport of running. We have a love of the event, the love of seeing the joy in someone’s eye the first time they finish their first 5K, 10K, Half, or even that Marathon (when we had the BUMR). We’ve seen a lot together as group and we want to share our experiences and our knowledge that the next generation can take what we have done and make it even better.
All sound like something you might be in to? Contact the BTC secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or our general email at
email@example.com to get more info!