So I thought about what was unique about me…and one thing that comes to mind, is my diverse work experience. Yes, all of the jobs I have had are related to sports but all are very different. I love the environment that surrounds sports and helping people achieve their goals drives me everyday. These days, I live in Princeton, NJ and am the race director for the upcoming New Jersey Marathon that Pacers Running recently acquired. How I got here is a funny story, at Pacers Running we are all about the journey and my journey has been the best.
The summer before my senior year at Smith College, I found myself in the basement office of a Washington DC bike courier company. The dispatcher was interviewing me for a messenger job. “I’m a hard worker. A fast learner”, I said while trying not to look behind him at the wall calendar of naked women. I remember the dispatcher looking back at me in disbelief. The thought, “Who is this girl kidding?”, was most defiantly spinning around in his head. He hired me anyway. I didn’t know my way around the city, but I had a pocket map and I figured it out. Just the best summer job.
In college, I was an athlete and after college I started running. I see myself as a team sport player who became a recreational runner. Running was a way to stay fit, it is easy, and I love it. I love talking about running, I love training, and I will forever feel that way. I find all things sports interesting.
Not too long ago, I was living with my family in Beijing, China. And was offered a position at my children’s school teaching middle school Phys Ed. You name it, I taught it. Cricket? Australian rules football? Rock Climbing? Check. Check. Check. I remember one of my students interrupting my badminton lesson, “Ms. Biggs, I don’t think that’s right. You score a point when…” I sure didn’t know many of the rules, but eventually I figured it out. Most hilarious job ever.
While in China, we were fortunate to be visited by the sweet Levinson family. As in, Josh and Kara Levinson, the owners of Charm City Run, just up 95N. We bonded over many things, including the obvious: running. Josh connected me to one of their marathon coaches who gave me a good training plan that helped me to finish the Great Wall Marathon. If we ever move to Baltimore I told Josh that I would love to work for Charm City Run.
Once back in the States and living in Princeton, NJ, it was Josh who introduced me to Chris Farley. There was a one line email Josh sent to Farley and then I had a job with Pacers. I don’t know how this stuff happens to me but it does. Lucky for me, Chris was opening the Pacers Princeton location at that time. From there I met Kathy [Dalby] and shortly thereafter asked I Lisa [Reeves] if I could shadow her for a weekend at one of the Pacers Races; that was where it all began. A new job, a new adventure started then.
Fast forward a few years. It’s 4am on the morning of the GW Parkway Classic. The Pacers crew is setting up in Mt. Vernon, VA. Lisa is stuck in a portable toilet shouting, “Alcatraz!”, because in the pitch dark she can’t find the toilet paper. I’m thinking, “I’m 46 years old. How did I get here?” A few hours later, I am directing fast approaching coach buses around a traffic circle, dressed in a reflective vest and waving tiny neon wands. Trying desperately not to get run over.
We have a couple of races up here in New Jersey that are community focused. I don’t know all that it takes to be a good race director, but with my Jedi-Master-mentor, who I deeply respect, and the smart, creative and hard working Pacers Events team to work with, I’ll figure it out. At an event last year I am helping with gear check, and Kathy floats the idea of working on a new marathon we bought and three months later it is really happening. I remember thinking I just agreed to do something kind of big. It is the best. We followed Lifetime around the New Jersey Marathon last April and then it was ours in May.
I am grateful for the job with Pacers and to direct races, I give so much credit to Lisa and Kathy for the opportunity. Having kids who are school aged, you cannot go out and said, “I need a part-time job doing something I care about but it must work in my own life.” I feel lucky all of the time. I work with so many exceptional people I am going to be fried on May 1st after the marathon but that is cool.
Just the greatest job. The best one yet.