My Little Family
I had been planning this day for many, many months. As my husband, a non-athlete, took up running almost 2 years ago, I never thought he would stick with it, and as it turns out, he just completed the Philly Marathon less than a week ago. I am so incredibly proud of him and honored to know him, that I had to come up with a way to support his dedication and honor his perseverance . . . A surprise 35th (gluten-free) birthday party with a running theme!
If there’s anything to know about me, it’s that I LOVE surprises, and I LOVE themes. So, with my dad’s help, it all began.
The theme: a 3.5 mile run for my husband’s 35th birthday. His last name starting with a K, the race was titled:
The BEN K 3.5 mile Run
1. We sent out Evites
2. We began designing our race shirts. We first designed them with photoshop and then ironed on each one. I ordered iron-on transfers in bulk from amazon.com (18 for around $18) and the shirts from http://www.shirtsupplier.com (around $2/shirt). Since my husband is from Atlanta, I was able to create the old GA license tag with his birth county on the bottom, the year he was born, and the year it is now on either side of the tag. All the “sponsors” were places that held importance in my husband’s life, whether it was the brand of shoe he wore (or had worn – my mistake!), his favorite breakfast place, or his alma matter.
3. It was time to think about ordering the bibs from Athlete Race Number:
Of course Ben got the # 35 bib!
- ben’s race number
(The bibs we got were a bit pricier, because my dad agreed to get those if we put him as a sponsor. We got 100 bibs for $45.52, but you can just order 100 plain numbers for $22.43)
4. We then drove around to map out the race course that started and ended at my parents’ house. We made maps of the course. We decided to have a 1.1 mile option as well for walkers and kids.
Benk 3.5 mile loop map
5. I ordered the 2 gluten-free cakes from Sally’s Gluten-Free Bakery in Atlanta, Ga. A 13″x9″ sheet cake came to $35. I also ordered a half-sized cake that came in the round. They iced the cake, but couldn’t decorate it. So, I called on my mother-in-law for her cake-decorating help! (By the way, the cakes are amazing!!! None of the guests knew the difference! And my MIL is amazing!!)
GF B-Day Cake from Sally’s GF Bakery
MIL Decorating Cake
6. Ordering the Food – ALWAYS LOOK FOR COUPON CODES!! I learned the hard way, that there are cheaper ways to do things. I decided to have bagels, veggies & dip, fruit, and water. Since I didn’t have enough time to chop the veggies myself due to the fact I was flying in for this, I called Publix (the grocery) who makes wonderful GF platters. (However, if I’d know, you could pick up platters in the grocery store that weren’t part of the catering for half the price. They didn’t look as nice though.) We got both GF bagels and gluten bagels, because they were cheaper and there was no need for everyone to eat GF.
– Publix Fruit Platter (M) feeding 16-20 people = $36.99
– Publix Veggie Platter (M) feeding 16-20 people = $29.99
– Udi’s GF Bagels – 4 bagels for at least $6
– Einstein’s Bagels (with 20% whole order coupon) – 13 dozen with 2 containers of spread for $14.50 (pre-coupon)
7. Making the Medals – I made witty race medals for everyone, but the birthday boy. Ben got a 1st place medal from TrophyPartner.com
The other medals I made using an exacto knife and cardboard. Then I printed up labels with the race date info, slapped them on the back, punched holes with a hole puncher, threaded ribbon from the dollar store through it, and wrote on the front, i.e., from my architect friend I wrote “Fastest Leed Runner”
- labeled benk medal
8. The Dollar Store Run – table clothes, platters, cups, napkins, cutlery, bubbles, candles, chalk
9. Creating the Silly Liability Running Waivers for all the many lawyers in the bunch, and whoever signed “agreed” that if they did not cross the finish line, they would pay for our daughter’s education (among other things). That was my dad’s cute idea.
brother-in-law (lawyer) carefully reading the liability waiver with dad
10. Chalking the Race Course – We chalked the whole race the morning of so people wouldn’t get lost.
Dad Chalking Start
11. The Surprise – Priceless!!
So, you want to know how I pulled it off?
I told him that I was going to let him sleep late, and I’d take care of our daughter. He had no problems with that. We got up extra early, did everything we needed. I had the guests arrive in the front to wait in the patio area. Once they had all assembled, I woke Ben up and had him put on some clothes. I told him I had made him breakfast and we were going to eat it on the patio outside. So, this is his face when he made it outside . . .
12. The Start of the Race
At the Starting Line
13. The Award Ceremony – At the end of the race, each guest received their special medal and their t-shirt.
14. Ben K Trivia – Food and dessert were complemented by funny trivia all about my husband. We had door prizes to give out with my dad’s logo on them for the winners. One of the questions asked how tall Ben was. We measured him, and the winner got the tape measure!
It was truly an amazing morning! I found this the most fun, because it gave people a reason to be social and get to know one another (and all with-in budget).
Happy Birthday to the most Beautiful Man that I know!
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