Producing the best possible race? Run!
March 12, 2018 |
by Marc Grewenig
What’s your story? Have you, like so many others, become Race Director because of your experience as an athlete and wanted to start a new career through your affection for this sport? This seems to be a conclusive story for many of you. But maybe not? Maybe you come from a completely different world, such as marketing or business or whatever. And whatever your personal sporting experience and ability is, you are bound to be able to create best-in-class races and provide outstanding racing services for other athletes. If you want to produce the best possible race, start running by yourself now!
A race is about so much more than just getting from A to B – it’s about the experience on the way, the lead and the lasting impression. It is about every single aspect – physical, emotional, psychological and logistical – from the moment an athlete discovers an event to the memories after the race that last a lifetime. First-hand experience as a participant is the best way for you to gain an insight into the racing services that accompany an event from „ok“ to excellent – so we strongly recommend that you set off on a starting line before you create your own. And if you’re unable to participate in races in person, you’ll find a focus group of people close to you, family or friends who give detailed, honest and insightful feedback from their experiences.
When you run, pay attention to every detail during the experience. Here are some key aspects to consider and analyze that will help you create an unforgettable event for your athletes, volunteers, staff and sponsors.
It is well known that the first steps in every race are the identification of the right race and the associated registration. Is the race easy to find, and does the website clearly convey the feeling of the race? Is the registration process simple, fast and clear? Are answers to questions easily accessible (e. g.: What is the refund policy in case of violation?), and will you receive a confirmation email for registration?
So once you’re registered, you start preparing for the race – a time when many athletes are looking for training tips that are specifically tailored to the course and conditions, want to connect with other athletes and feel a first sense of increased nervousness. Does the race provide resources to meet these needs and foster community and confidence around the event? Are communications and offers from race sponsors meaningful and valuable, rather than intrusive or over-saleable?
The Race Day itself – when nerves, excitement and emotions are present to an absolute maximum – leaves the athletes with the strongest impression. Is the atmosphere of the race positive, inviting and supportive? Are the instructions clear and is the race on time? Is the running course scenic, interesting, challenging and above all clearly marked? Are the volunteers enthusiastic, informed and abundant? There are also plenty of refreshment stations, and are there enough cold drinks for the slower athletes? How high is the energy at the important finish line? Are food and drink, massage and results easily available after the race? Is there a party atmosphere at the finish line?
In the best case, a great race is not a flash in the pan. Rather, a positive experience will inspire participants to come back year after year and share their passion for the event. What follow-up will you receive after the race? Are results, photos and videos quickly available and easily accessible? Do you receive thank you notifications from the race and perhaps an early booking discount for next year’s registration? Is there a noticeable enthusiasm about the race on social media platforms and in the running community? Are friends and family invited for next year?
From the discovery and registration to the race day, the euphoria after the race to the social buzz – the experience of a race is manifold. With first-hand insights and a critical look at every single step on the way, you will learn valuable tips and tricks to make your race a positive, participatory experience and a great success for everyone involved.