Community: Exchange advice in the forums and read running commentary Resources: Personal running log, calculators, links and other tools for runners News: Running news from around the world Training: Articles and advice about fitness, race training and injury prevention Races/Results: Find upcoming races and past results Home: The Cool Running homepage

Cool Running Races & Tips
About Us
Support
Road Race Promotion for Race Directors
Advertising
Pay-Per-Click Ads on ACTIVE.com
Cool Running on Your Site
ACTIVE Runner Newsletter
Terms of Use
Your Privacy Rights
Race Director Software
Race Timing Systems
Race Planning Analytics

 


Technically Speaking
Here is a checklist by Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillvray to use for your event.

  
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
 

By Dave McGillivray
Posted Monday, 29 April, 2002

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

Pre-Race (planning)

  • Scope of event and objectives - need to determine this first; why are you doing this?
  • Set reasonable goals and expectations - remember, though, it is only a road race!
  • Is it a business for you?
  • Consider multi-distance events - kids, 5K, 5M, etc.
  • Choosing your course - critical to the long term success of the race
  • Race application - don't skimp, promotional piece, consult with your timing company
  • Application distribution - stores, mailing lists, running clubs, health clubs
  • Distribution at other races - ask first, cars, finish line, tables, pick up your trash
  • Choosing a charity - do races actually raise money? Pledges, line item in budget
  • Include older divisions - 70+, 5-year intervals
  • Race packet - people have a tendency of equating the value they are receiving with what is in the bag
  • Set up as much as is reasonably possible the day before the race, hire detail, do not leave for race day what you can do the day before; why plan for months and then rush?
  • Operations Manual - the bible
  • Budget - it really is the "race director"
  • If you must limit the field size, always set aside enough entries to cover your special requests
  • Pretend event is 1-2 weeks before the actually date
  • Planning for next year starts even before this year's race

Pre-Race (race day)

  • Tell staff and volunteers to arrive 1/2 hour before you actually need them
  • Place signage from the main highway to the race site directing runners to appropriate locations
  • Anticipate your parking plan and make sure you have monitors and/or equipment to direct runners even before the first runner arrives or they will simply follow one another

Starting Line

  • Registration process - layout so that it is clear and efficient, enough room, it flows
  • Don't use audible countdown, i.e., 10, 9, 8,...1, go!
  • Line up runners before the actual starting line then move forward to the actual starting line or create elite athlete corral
  • Starting mechanism - don't use gun, whistle, be unique, make sure all can hear
  • Other pre-race events - aerobic warm up
  • PA announcer - very important, should have numeric list, sponsor list, spotters, charismatic, not obnoxious
  • If you are the RD, never leave the main area of activity, you must be readily accessible to your staff and volunteers

Course

  • Water stations - every mile, both sides, don't skimp
  • Accurately measured course - at least state what it is
  • Design a course that is easy to manage - point-to-point races are tough
  • Lead vehicles - don't neglect or wait until race day; pre-race meeting with drivers

Finish Line

  • Breaktape - always in photo, practice, repeat sponsors name
  • Banner - facing photographers, wind holes
  • Championchip - the wave of the future

Post Race

  • Important - post race activities, food, entertainment
  • Refreshments - pick "easy" foods, ones that don't leave much trash
  • Results, posting, internet
  • Awards - merchandise, medals, trophies, unique
  • Awards ceremony - winners first, move along quickly
  • Call/email in results - people like to see results in paper; your obligation
  • Clean up - don't leave until venue is clean; trash containers; ask people to help; hire crew

Miscellaneous

  • Communications - 2 way radios, ham radio operators, cellular phones (Nextel)
  • Equipment (and volunteers) - extremely important
  • Aesthetics - fencing, tents, balloons, banners, etc.
  • Referee / officials - don't police your own event
  • Volunteers - misnomer, contract, just as committed
  • Don't lose money
  • Remember the basics - accurate course, water, accurate results
  • It's supposed to be FUN.

by Dave McGillivray
DMSE, Inc.
4 Greystone Drive
Middleton, MA 01949
PH: 978-774-3842
FAX: 978-774-8893
Email: davemcg@baa.org
Web Site: http://www.coolrunning.com/dmse

 


My ACTIVE
Help
Recent Results
Upcoming Events
Training Log
Forums
Post a Race
Submit Results
Advertise
Sponsored By

Couch-to-5K Google play Couch-to-5K App Store

© 2015 Active Network, LLC and/or its affiliates and licensors. All rights reserved.

About Us | Terms of Use| Copyright Policy | Your Privacy Rights | Support

Cool Running Facebook Facebook | Cool Running Twitter Twitter | Newsletter Subscription | News Feed Subscription

Race Directors | Running Events | Race Results | Running Tips | Pace Calculator | Couch to 5K | Running Forum | Running News