Bringing People Together: Inside the Making of Run by the Creek

It’s 7:30 am on a chilly Sunday morning in Dripping Springs and, normally quiet, Creek Road is flooding with People. As dawn approaches more crowd around, stretching pacing to warm up. They are runners and walkers ready to get after it and have a good time.

The Run By The Creek is fast and fun 5k and 10k on 195 Roger Hanks Parkway. It is  put on by the The Dripping Springs Running Club (DSRC), and has taken place for the past 8 years in November.

The idea was to bring local runners together with a beautiful race, showcasing the Dripping Springs hill country,” Race Director Daniel Pane said, “and with the intent of supporting organizations that foster an active and healthy lifestyle.”

The race was created because the founding members of the DSRC wanted to create a high quality, local race that attracted runners within our community.

Our race is in November, so much of the planning conversations start up in July, and by mid-September we’re meeting regularly to make sure we’re on track.” Pane said.

DSRC President Steve Mallett is the project manager, making sure all of the pieces come together on time and ready for race day.

We each spearhead different aspects, but it’s a team effort.” Pane said. “Since we all have day jobs, we hold each other accountable to be responsible for our own tasks.”

DSRC and the race is completely a volunteer effort. As such, it requires team work, coordination, and time. Each of the eight race directors are in-charge of different aspects of putting on the race, including sponsorships and marketing, city permitting and approval, participant registration, race day operations and logistics, volunteer coordination, and finance and accounting.

Freshman Eva Vallo is awarded her medal at Run by the Creek. Photo by Tia Davidson.

On the weekend of the race, it’s an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to make sure that the race goes as smoothly as possible.” Pane said. “We also have a mindset of continuous improvement. We debrief after the race and discuss what went well, what we could do better, and what we can do to grow our impact within the community.

The race has folks that come just to walk or run with a group of family or friends. The races also has others that have had Run by the Creek on their calendar and they are there to give this race their best effort.

I trained after cross country season,” runner Caroline Siddons said, “and ran a few times before the race.”

The winner of the 2019 5k was from the Dripping Springs cross country team, Brant Melton, and the winner of the 2019 10k was from DSRC, Ted Davison.

It was a very uplifting and motivating environment , Siddosn said, “which made the run better.”

The race is kid-friendly, so people especially enjoy watching children cross the finish line, proud of their accomplishments.

Every year, we’re re-energized by watching runners and walkers start and finish the race. Running is a powerful experience, especially when it’s a shared experience.” Pane said. “Seeing folks experience a “runner’s high” is quite a motivation.”

Story by Tia Davidson, Contributor

Featured photo by Tia Davidson

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