The third race in the inaugural season of the RUNColumbus Race Series is Brokemans Undiscovered. To be held on March 13 at 9 a.m.., this race features a 5K, 10K, 15K, and 13.1 Mile option. Katie Cordova is the owner of Brokemans Run Co. and serves as the race director.
My name is Katie and I have 5 sons! We live in southeast Central Ohio, and I LOVE running in colder weather. I run most days a week, short distances for now with my double stroller full of babies, my other boys on bikes, and our dog in tow. I loved my years of solo 40 mile weeks, but this phase is just so sweet, and busy!
How did you become a race director? I fell in love with running when I was in my early 20s. My father had always been a runner, and when he passed I thought running might have been a way to connect with him in a way I never got too. What running did to my brain was something I had never experienced before, and I was able to use running to take me through the hardest years of my young adult life. As I got more serious, and became faster, I found the desire to test myself and see what I could do, so I began to research races. But I quickly became discouraged by the high cost of the racing industry and as a young broke single mother, spending $60 on a race entry was out of the question. I felt very strongly about changing the mindset of what it meant to run a race; fancy medals and prize money and fan fare and fluff, and I wanted to see if I could bring back the love of running just to run, and see what you were made of. I wanted to cut the cost of racing way down, so that running was never an obstacle in someone’s journey to better physical and mental health. So I gave it a shot.
What’s the greatest challenge you face in your role? Doing it alone has been hard, and living off of trial and error. I came into the scene at a wonderful time, just before it seemed to blow up, but honestly, the only experience I had was running a few races. The rest I had to figure out by making a lot of phone calls and making a lot of errors. I’ve also had 3 of my 5 babies while growing my company! That was quite a challenge. There is nothing as exhausting as executing a race weekend 38 weeks pregnant.
What’s the greatest reward? One of my absolute favorite things are the loved ones that come along for the ride. Entire families that bring lawn chairs and snacks just to cheer their person on for 10 seconds. Husbands or wives that haul their young children out in the early mornings to wait for 3 hours with nothing to do but stand there, just to show support. Fathers that stand for hours as their young daughters set out to run in the woods alone. Unwavering in dedication, nervously staring into the woods for the moment they appear again, safe. The running clubs and BRFs with no agenda but joy that bring signs with the most personal jokes, and most inappropriate comments to their friends that they’ve carried through countless miles, early mornings, tears of pain and joy and struggle just to bring them to this day. The selflessness of the running community. Maybe that’s my favorite thing.
Other than signing up for your race, how can runners support and encourage race organizers? VOLUNTEER! Any runner that has participated in a race knows the importance of volunteers. But not enough people sign up for the smaller races. Small races NEED volunteers too! Also, share the word. Even if you can’t participate, you can tell your running group, social media pages, and anyone else about a company you love. Interaction with their social media pages is also very important. Follow them, like their pictures, comment on them. The more company pages are interacted with, the more they are shown to others, so your interaction is vital to organic growth in small companies. And also. Sign up for races.