Ever consider putting on your own race? Ever wonder what it takes to put on a race, or where to start?
Erie Runners Club board member, Suzy Carstarter made up this great checklist for race directors that spells it all out in black and white.
Having served as race director for the Her Times women’s 5K for 7 years now, I can tell you that it takes a village of runners/friends/family/volunteers to put on a race, but once you have your key people in place (course set up, timing, finish line/registration, etc.), the race pretty much runs itself (pun intended).
Truth be told, the biggest hassle(s), for me in directing a race is: 1.) Answering emails/questions/phone calls, and 2.) Entering applications into the computer. The applications come in wads…at the last minute, of course, and it’s tedious & time consuming to enter them all. Other than that, it’s really only the two or three days before the race that are rip-your-hair-out crazy, and if you’re an organization freak like me, you’ve even got that down to a science after a couple years.
You often hear that race directing is a thankless job and it can be, particularly for those who manage the really large races, which is unfortunate because, truly, they are the ones putting the most blood, sweat, and tears into the race. But, I can tell you that, for me, it’s always been a gratifying, satisfying and really rewarding experience. The women who do my race are excited, gracious, kind, supportive, and appreciative. In all the years I’ve directed the race, I’ve probably only gotten a dozen complaints, and only one or two that were nasty.
If you’re not up for directing a race, consider volunteering for one. Just one. Get a look at what it takes to put one on and you might decide it’s something you, too, want to “give back” to your running community.