As I reflect on this past weekend, the laughter, the music, the drama of a road race – I cant help but think of everyone who made it possible. So many thank yous are in order! The day goes by so fast it is hard to spend time with people and let them know how much we appreciate their presence and support.
So I just want to say a personal thank you to everyone.
First, to Anita Mathur for her tireless commitment to all things Bobcat related. It was a rocky road this year, a few moments of controlled panic for the organizers, and Anita kept working at it and took it right to the finish line – quite literally. She was actually managing the finish line after finishing the race…!! Well done Anita. No one has a bigger heart when it comes to Oyster River.
A very very special thanks to Andrew and Robyn Gault of Gault Builders – without their commitment – this great day would not be possible. Andrew and Robyn not only underwrote the event as the presenting sponsor, they were also deeply involved with the marketing, the set up, the tear down, the commercials, and so much more. Andrew was at the school with me at 930pm the night before filling water jugs and was back at 6am to set up the aid stations. If you need work done on your home – I can assure you that this man will not stop working until it is done. He and Robyn are amazing people and the community is lucky to have them. The Gault family is an Oyster River legend and treasure and Andrew and Robyn have continued the legacy that Mary Ann and Ralph started years ago by giving back to the community in an extraordinary fashion.
Thanks to all of our volunteers on event day and to ORAA and the board: Ben Hardy lined up the artists and made the Festival an amazing day of musical talent. Chris Hansen, Jim Devlin and Ian Katz on the sound – making it all hit our ears just right. Bridgette Beagan, Matt Smith and Emily Dube all worked before and during this event to make it possible. And to our UNH intern Anthony Baum who did everything from sponsorship sales to hauling tables and chairs, to flyer distribution. Guy is a workhorse and a talent and is graduating from UNH this month. So if you need a solid employee – hire Anthony.
Thank you to Mary Westfall, the Oyster River Teen Initiative and her congregation and the Durham Community Church. The vision and awareness for the Teen Center is the higher purpose of the Bolt and Festival.
Thank you to the Oyster River High School faculty and facility managers: Don Maynard, Deb Poulin, Laura Rogers, Randy, Mark our custodian on event day, Jill our kitchen manager – all of these people made the day come together smoothly.
Thank you to Durham and Madbury Police Departments who spend an early morning keeping the road closed for the runners and making sure safety was paramount.
Thank you to all of our other sponsors, partners and individual donors who contributed time, energy, money and love to make this day happen: Sperry Tents, Minute Men Painters, Durham Market Place, Isles of Shoals Steamship Co., Bugaboo Creek Steak House, Direct Capital, Lenk Orthodontics, The Great Bay Rotary Club, Fosters Daily Democrat, Durham Chiropractic, Runners Alley, Durham Its Where U Live, Wonder Lake Media and Paul and Jeremy Gasowski, 2-way Communications, Breaking New Grounds, The Bagelry and Portsmouth Sign Company.
Special thanks to Erl Hardy, Shirley Thompson and Bruno Welt for their extremely generous individual donations to the cause.
Thanks to Todd’s Trot, the Friends of Oyster River Track, the Huechlings, Todd Allen and John Parsons for the support, example and advice on how to make a great community event. Todds Trot continues to be the inspiration for what the Bolt could be one day.
Thanks to my friends and family who support this event and the efforts of the organizers: Nicole Birkhold and Josh Bishop from Freeskier who came from Colorado to help. My incredible girlfriend Tracy who supports her absent boyfriend and his “other woman” …the Bobcat Bolt… My parents, Robert and Charlene who house and feed the brood who descend on Durham for 4 days – and store things in their garage for years at a time. My brother Jason who donned the Bob D Cat mascot suit, much to his dismay, at Todds Trot to promote the event for us. My brother David who traveled from Colorado with his girlfriend Tiffany and her sister Whitney. My sister Robyn who traveled from Seattle for a 2-day turnaround. My aunt Maureen, cousin Rachele and her family. My cousin Jim and his family (Jim had the crowd on the cruise screaming for “one more song” over and over on Saturday night). My lifelong friend Darren Miller who brings it all magically alive with his talent for capturing the moment with photography.
Thanks to all my friends and those who went out of their way to bring family and travel to this event. It was so great to connect with all of you! Ambre and Javor, Jeff and Beth, Donaldo and Vanessa, Dan and Sarah, Gray and Rose, James and Steph, Jeff and Kelly, Jim and Jen, Stacy and Ryan, Bill and Nancy Jenkins, Pat and Jerry Lang, Rick and Susie Renner, Michelle, Melinda, Seamus, Chuck, Ben…the list goes on and on.
And finally, and most importantly for me, thank you to the Hardy family.
Thank you Josh and Nate Hardy for providing so much inspiration and guidance in my life. And thank you Ben, Donna and Steve for being truly exceptional people and great friends.
I hope we see you all again next year!
And if anyone is interested in getting more involved…let me know. 😉