About the Director and the HotFoot 5K
The short version
Sponsored by the SKFR Volunteer Association as a means to sustain funding for a local
scholarship, the HotFoot 5K is the brain storm of RS Lucke, which debuted in 2002 as
a second running event for South Kitsap, and is intended to be a
quality trail run to span decades.
The long version
Despite not possessing a trim runner's body anymore, I am a running enthusiast. Although finding
time to train is difficult with my schedule, distance running is my favorite. Most of the
runs I do are marathons. I look forward to a time (retirement) when running can be a priority,
and I can lead a similar life to my local heroes, Bob and Lenore.
For now, the HotFoot 5K is a modest dream come true.
A desire to direct a running event was in me at an early age. But like most people,
my life was filled with necessity; young family, mortgage, new career, etc.
Plus, I was already evolved with a volunteer organization as a volunteer firefighter with South
Kitsap Fire and Rescue. Even I had to admit that there was no additional time for me to conduct
a running event.
After all, there is so much to consider. First you need a course, then a motivated crew of people,
and specialized equipment to make it happen. Not to mention all the finer details; permission from
the community, insurance, coordination with public services, etc.
All that creates a big, "Wow, how can I make that become a reality?" Even just accomplishing it
once is an undertaking, and I was not about to move forward with it unless I honestly believed
it was going to be a lasting adventure spanning the years.
Fortunately, opportunity knocked, and many of the
puzzle pieces became available.
Quick back ground. - At the beginning of 2000, members of the South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Volunteer Association were
reaching a turning point. During previous years, the association had spiked in revenue due to a
contract with the Bremerton Raceway. That relationship was very beneficial in the beginning, but
the SKFR Volunteer Association was unable to manage the successful growth of the Bremerton Raceway.
In short; we were ill equipped to support them, and therefore revenue from them was going to be lost.
That loss was threatening to impact many of the programs the association enjoyed; one of which was
the annual scholarship.
Out of the programs the association was managing, it was the scholarship program that I least wanted
to lose. Other members of the association felt the same, meaning there was a motivated group of people
to support the work effort. I decided to move forward with the concept.
By 2001 I had researched locations, made contacts, and arranged for resources to debut a 5K run
at SK Community Park. I presented the concept to SKFRVA as a means to continue the scholarship
program. The membership accepted the challenge and approved sponsorship of the event for June
2002. The HotFoot 5K was born.
Although this event draws a small audience (averaging 120 participants annually), it turns out that
120 ish participants is a very good fit. It provides enough entries for the scholarship to stay afloat
and there is no over crowding along the course trails. It is my/our hope that the experience for those
who participate is a positive one.
For the HotFoot 5K, I place attention on a few basic elements. I strive to keep the entry cost low,
the course is to be accurately measured and well marked, and T-shirts will be quality made
and have an original design each year.
Admittedly I am not a good solicitor. Additional sponsorships for the event are rare because I prefer to
provide a service to achieve the financial gain, and the 120ish participant level is not a lot of
publicity draw to attract the interest of many businesses. Besides, a quality experience is more important
than trying to pack in the numbers.
To assist in keeping the cost low, I separate out the expense of a
T-shirt. This allows people who have no desire to possess an additional shirt in their closet, drawer, or
garage rag bin to also not be subject to its cost. In addition, the HotFoot course is engineered to not require traffic
control. That too, is a huge savings which I can pass on to the participants.
The course is personally measured to ensure accuracy. Because a runner is moving fast and needs
to respond quickly, there are over two dozen large signs to guide runners along the course. Flour
and fire line tape is also used to keep the runners on the correct path. Flour on roots and other
items on the foot path identify stepping hazards.
T-shirts are made available to those runners or walkers, like myself, who desire an event trophy.
They are always quality silk screen (not iron on patch or large ink blotch) shirts with a unique design for each
year. Attention is given to ensure the design will breath for the person who wears it.
Of course this event is nothing without the efforts of many behind the scenes. In addition to the
solid team work from members of the SKFR Volunteer Association setting up and breaking down the
event each year, SKFR as a department has supported this event since the beginning.
Fire Chief Brown and Senter have both personally contributed to event day activities. Various
Fire Commissioners have taken the time to cheer runners, start the race, and hand out awards over
The South Kitsap Amateur Radio Club has collected a group of volunteers to provide course monitoring
for participant safety every year. They are always alert to radio a problem so the SKFR bike
paramedic team can respond as quickly as possible if necessary.
The SK Track and Cross Country Boosters have provided finish area equipment over the years.
Not to forget that the SK Park Commissioners and now the Kitsap Parks and Rec. who have allowed the
use of the park for the HotFoot 5K.
All of these organizations play an important role in the success of the HotFoot 5K. I thank them
and all the various community volunteers who have made this a quality run each and every year.
Significant individuals who have my personal appreciation for putting forth consistent and tireless
effort are Lawrence, Mary, Merv, Mike, and Debi.
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Some other runs.