It's not exactly the ideal time to become a race director (although the Eco Challenge has certainly helped with awareness), but I'm creating a toolbox to make it easier for someone to put on their first race, focused on navigation races but applicable to any outdoor event - things like forming an LLC, liability insurance, marketing tactics, typical expenses, financial risk, course design, maps/printing, where to buy controls/flags, scoring options, clinic resources, etc. It may end up on USARA or ARCoop as a free resource. My question is what are the primary barriers to becoming a race director (post COVID)? Things like lack of time, lack of money/demand relative to the time required (i.e., if it were more lucrative, would that make the time required much less of a barrier?), lack of knowledge of how to create a race, etc. Thanks for any input.
HONESTLY...the hardest thing for me as an RD is getting the shirt sizing correct, and dealing with racers who don't want the size they ordered and want to trade, but not wanting to order too many extra shirts.
as a work-around i've ordered one-size-fits-all items the last two years (buffs and hats, both from Barking Frogs). but, ultimately, the shirt of any form is the "gold standard" and you can't avoid them forever.
Hi Mark I think this is a great initiative! A few thoughts for me that would certainly be good learning:
- Financials: it doesn't have to be something that makes you rich, but does the average race break even, what is the type of profit %?
- Location: how to pick a location, how to get permission to use the different types of land, private, gov owned/public
- Offering/Timing: there is a real community around AR and any new race I hope would find a way to be a new product offering or timing and not cannibalize from existing events
- Core Skills Required: How much race volunteering work should you do in advance, what other leadership/management skills do you think you need
- Volunteer Staff: How to recruit, engage, how to say thank you beyond just an opening verbal thanks at the race briefing
Hope that helps from someone that dreams about maybe one day in the semi-distant future hosting a race!
FYI: shameless plug for my friends’ book directed at race directors, as they are multi-sport event organizers in California:
“The All Out Events Guide to Great Sporting Events: from 5k to 500k, the complete guide to starting and running a successful and profitable outdoor, human powered event.”
By Kristin and Yishai Horowitz, of All Out Events.
Do I need to permit roads?
That and needing volunteers is probably my biggest hurdle in going from rogaines which are relatively easy since it's just a big o meet to a more involved AR (assuming one's park can't fit the whole AR in).