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On Being A Race Director

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:07pm
My first endeavor in this arena is this Saturday at 10:00 AM when I co-direct a 5k and 10k run for our triathlon club. I am SO excited and SO scared - the anticipation and panic are mounting daily.

The decisions to be made are exponential and with each decision I waiver and look for guidance. The other director has taken on all the parts of the job that I don't like - she is doing the majority of personal contact. I'm doing all the online, non-personal tasks. At this point, I'm not entirely certain that I'm pulling my weight.

She will be out there tomorrow morning in the frigid cold hanging NO PARKING signs along the route. I feel bad that I can't be there and glad that I can't be there. I hate cold - I hate cold real bad.

This is the third year for this race and in the past no one has really taken the time to promote it properly. We decided this year would be different - we had a crackerjack team of volunteers putting registration forms out all over the city. Last year there were 47 runners - this year we made the decision to stop accepting registrations when they reached 200 as we planned for far less and told city officials and police we were expecting 100-150. Not necessarily a popular decision if you intended to run in the race and just now decided to signup.

We had a blogspot to post information and participant lists, we had links to registration setup on the tri club site and local running store and track club sites. We had volunteers out beating the bushes for freebies for the packets.

We have these really cool looking beanies to give out instead of the ceremonious tee shirt. We have trophies and medals to hand out to the winners.

And we are hoping for a really awesome race and experience for the 200 that had the foresight to sign up before the week of the race. Lots of people inquiring and go away frowning - but next year we will be ready. We know the best way to promote and get the runners stoked - we will have a handle on how much money we will have to spend on niceties and awards.

So, it's been a true learning experience and I'm not really sure that I would want to do it again. But, you know, these things are like childbirth and triathlon - the joy at the end always seems to overwhelm the pain.
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