Adventures in Permitting – Success!

So if you’ve been following my Adventures in Permitting for the last 4 months, you know it’s been a lot of waiting with some bouts of work trying to get the permit for the Rim To Rim Trail Run approved. As of Monday, October 27, 2014 I can finally say that process is (more or less) done! The Bidwell Park and Playground Commission (BPPC) met and approved my permit, with some normal conditions about getting insurance and following park rules. It is an amazingly huge relief to have that hurdle cleared.

I haven’t written much about the work I had to do over the last couple weeks, so I’ll give you the full run-down now. My permit application had come under scrutiny from the parks department here in Chico for a couple of reasons. I am a first time race director and this is an inaugural event, so it is bound to attract some attention. I was originally slated to have my permit reviewed back in August, but the Natural Resource Manager for Bidwell Park (where the event will take place) wanted to get some specific questions answered. His schedule is apparently pretty impacted, so even though I’d responded to the questions via email, he was not able to meet in person before the September BPPC meeting. We scheduled a meeting for early October, and I went back to the waiting game.

On October 7th I got a chance to meet with the Natural Resource Manager as well as two park rangers to discuss my event. After some discussion, it became clear their chief concern was around the trails I was planning to use for part of the race, and the difficulty in accessing those trails in case of emergency. For me, this was frustrating since I run on those trails frequently, and it would be just as much of a hassle to get to me if I was injured by myself or as part of a race. However, it was clear to me that there would not be support for my event if the trail access issues were not addressed. Compromise was in order.

I have had a very clear idea of the route I wanted to take for this race, even well before I began the process of getting a permit and making it an official event. Finding out I needed to alter the course, and in a fairly fundamental way, was more than a little frustrating. I tried to remain positive about it, and set to work rerouting the course. I had already made a change to the route based on road closures, and while this would be more significant, I knew I could make the adjustments and still keep the spirit and soul of the event.

The day after meeting with the representatives from the park, I went out for a run, mapping some routes and figuring out mileage. I returned home and poured over the route information, adding mileage totals and putting the pieces together. A day later, I had the modified route proposal put together and sent out.

Fast-forward another two weeks to today. I sat in the City Council chambers as my permit was discussed. I answered a couple of questions about the route. And then, in a 5-minute master stroke of anticlimax, my permit was approved. Success!

Tonight I am celebrating. But now, of course, the real work begins. Securing insurance, finding sponsors, and marketing the event so I can get some actual runners are all on deck. I’ll be documenting  it every step of the way, so stay tuned here, and keep an eye on the Rim To Rim Trail Run website. There will be so much more to come!

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