Wanna Race?

By John Coakley, KDA Vice President (Edited for Website)


Sounds like something I heard about 65 years ago when I was 6 and able to beat most of the others in our neighborhood; seems like yesterday. Back then it was easy: draw a line in the dirt with a stick and another one far away for a finish line. Ready-Set-Go! There was nothing to it. That was then.

In September 2012 Sarah Kawa, one of my daughters, says she wants to initiate a 5K race and do it to benefit the KDA. She is a RN working with high-risk pregnant women who are confined to their homes.  Sarah planned it for 8 months with the help of family, including her sister, Clare Hoerl, and a few new friends including, Phil Lang, a seasoned race director. Add in a former neighbor’s Mom, Arleen Dinneen, who is absolutely invaluable sharing her years of putting on 5K and 10K races for other non-profits in Maryland.

The work begins … :

  • Pick a name for the race: The event’s title, Queen Anne’s Race, is a pun on Queen Anne’s Lace which was my mom’s favorite flower.
  • Secure a location and date.
  • Develop and continually modify a preliminary budget.
  • Finalize County permit – Note: They need an IRS non-profit letter dated within 10 yrs. Call IRS & request updated letter: the KDA has one from 11 years ago. Send new IRS letter to the County.
  • Sign contract with the county for the rental of Community Center
  • Sign another contract for the race course.
  • Go to head of Recs & Parks to plead case for a reduced fee.
  • Design and print Race Entry form and Sponsor Form.
  • Send out emails to everyone in contact list.
  • Organizing volunteers.
  • Secure Event Insurance.
  • Set up a ‘race’ bank account and deposit ‘seed money’.
  • Design and order the logo for the race caps.
  • Design the logo for the annual event – design the brochures, the race shirts.
  • Ask the community businesses to sponsor the race.
  • Plot the exact course with the County, part on paved bike trail and more in and through the woods
  • Stuff about 200 bags with giveaways donated by local businesses
  • Pray for success and good weather


Well, it was a success! We had the most beautiful day of this year. Family from Ohio, friends from PA, doctors and researchers from the NIH and from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and a MD from a hospice in Lancaster, PA drove 2 hours just to get here by 7 AM to register.  We had 168 registered runners! All were thrilled with the course and that we had an indoor venue with hot breakfast donated by Whole Foods Market, indoor plumbing, great fellowship and plenty of water donated by Nestle Waters. A raffle for a custom Ray Lewis portrait created by Presley Paintings was responsible for over $500 being donated to this event. Thanks to all of you!

Over $13,000 was raised for the KDA thanks to Sarah and the Coakley clan and friends.  THANK YOU!