Running is a big deal here in Northwest Indiana. Tons of runners can be seen pounding the pavement everyday whether it’s to get in their daily miles or in an organized race. It takes a lot to make a race happen. Roads must be blocked off, water stations have to be set up, medical aid needs to be at the ready, and all of the bib numbers must be prepared.
The bibs (the numbers that runners pin to their shirts and wear during a race) are especially important because they have special sensors on them that record a runners’ time when they cross the finish line. There are a lot of these bibs around, and with big races like the Turkey Trot that takes place on Thanksgiving Day every year in Valparaiso and Portage, the number of bibs that need to be made run into the thousands.
This brings up the question: who takes on this job? Who puts each sensor –more specifically each RIDF disposable timing tag- on the back of each bib? I’ll tell you who. Her name is Carrie Stanley. Stanley is a client at Opportunity Enterprises and she is the only person who gets the task of putting together the bibs together.
I went to the workshop to speak with Stanley about the hard work she is doing. She was sitting at a table, diligently sticking sensors to the backs of the bibs, then covering them with a protective foam piece to keep them safe. Todd Henderlong, owner of T&H Timing and Extra Mile Fitness Company was there as well.
“Todd brought me the numbers," Stanley said. “I super-specialize in this stuff. It feels good that I can do this. My record is 749 bibs in one day!”
“I’ve got a long history with OE,” Henderlong said. “Putting the timing tags on the bibs is pretty labor-intensive, and we have to make 90,000 to 100,000 a year. And to do all of this myself would be almost impossible for me. I know that OE specializes in work like this and it’s key for my business. I don’t know what I would do without Carrie. I wish that I had 100 employees like her.”
Now you know, readers and runners, a little bit more about the great things that come out of Opportunity Enterprises. Next time you’re in a race, take pride in knowing that someone very special is working hard to help you.
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