race management

TIPS FOR DEALING WITH ROAD RACE MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS

TIPS FOR DEALING WITH ROAD RACE MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS

No matter how meticulous your planning, sooner or later something unexpected is going to occur that is going to require you to make on-the-spot decisions. Veteran race directors Dave McGillivray and Sean Ryan offer some tips on what to do (and not do) when disaster happens. 

WATER STATION MANAGEMENT

WATER STATION MANAGEMENT

Lately, I’ve been running in a lot of road races in preparation for the World Marathon Challenge (in fact, when you read this, I'll be a week from landing in Antarctica for the first of seven marathons). I haven’t participated in this many races in such a short period of time in 20 years. Back then, however, I was running fairly well, like in the 6-minutes per mile range. Now I’m closer to 7-minutes or even 8-minutes a mile. It’s a different experience running with the masses versus running closer toward the front with the faster and more competitive folks.

WHO OWNS AN EVENT?

WHO OWNS AN EVENT?

There was a time when I thought a road race could never be sold. Who would buy it and what exactly would the buyer be buying anyway? Today, however, races are now being bought and sold left and right. Boy, did I miss the bus on that one.

WHAT DO I NEED FOR SIGNS?

WHAT DO I NEED FOR SIGNS?

I used to think the more signs (operational and functional signs, not sponsor signs) at an event, the better. However, throughout the years, I’ve come to realize more is not necessarily better, and it's not simply the number of signs but many other factors that come into play. 

THE LAST RUNNER

THE LAST RUNNER

When managing our races, we tend to focus a lot on the elite leaders in the race: we make sure they go in the right direction, they follow our lead vehicles, and they're cheered on by thousands of spectators. However, what about the last runner(s)?

A ROAD RACE DIRECTOR SHARES HIS PET PEEVES ABOUT RUNNERS

A ROAD RACE DIRECTOR SHARES HIS PET PEEVES ABOUT RUNNERS

I am a race director, but I was a runner before I was a race director, so I’m not totally the enemy. Frankly, I think of myself as a runner first and then a race director.

A PLEA FOR CONSISTENTLY ENFORCED RULES

A PLEA FOR CONSISTENTLY ENFORCED RULES

I was at a race this weekend where the rules clearly prohibit strollers, jogging or otherwise, in the 10-K and 5-K. My friend didn't have anyone to watch her baby while she ran and felt she had to skip the race. But when I got there, I found plenty of people running with their jogging strollers anyway.

I WANT TO START A RACE. WHERE DO I START?

I WANT TO START A RACE. WHERE DO I START?

I am trying to start a half-marathon, 10-K, and 5-K event. The proceeds will benefit a program for veterans with post-traumatic stress at a veterans hospital. I'm hoping that about 1,000 people will enter.

HOW CAN I GET A JOB AS A RACE ORGANIZER?

HOW CAN I GET A JOB AS A RACE ORGANIZER?

I've been a runner for most of my life, and I love running in races. I've volunteered at a handful, too, and recently realized I would love to make it a career—working for something like, say, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series. How should I go about meeting the right people and gaining the experience to do this?

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH COURSE TIME LIMITS?

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH COURSE TIME LIMITS?

I hope you'll indulge me to mention a pet peeve of mine.  It involves time limits.  I've done a few marathons lately that announced a 6-hour time limit. I'm a walker and it takes me 5 1/2 to 6 hours to complete a marathon.

WHY THE HIGH FEE FOR ONLINE RACE REGISTRATION?

WHY THE HIGH FEE FOR ONLINE RACE REGISTRATION?

I’d like to know why the fee is so high to register online for some races. It only makes life easier for the race organizers when I register online, yet for some races, they charge an extra $6 or more to register online.

A CHECKLIST TO USE FOR YOUR EVENT

A CHECKLIST TO USE FOR YOUR EVENT

General Characteristics Needed

  • Visualization - being able to visualize every aspect of an event before it happens
  • Calm and quick thinking under pressure; patience
  • Don't be intimidated by the challenge
  • You need to be exceptionally well organized; being prepared; labor intensive; don't leave to race day
  • Charisma and leadership qualities and ability to surround yourself with hard working, dependable and experienced people; trust (to a point), always follow up
  • Great to be involved in a sport where you make people feel good about themselves