The Most Common Race Director Problems

Common pitfalls you want to make sure to avoid.


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  1. Race director or race committee is spread too thin.  Delegate.  Be available to react to unforeseen events on race day. 
  2. Insufficient lead/planning time allotted.  Good runs take a great deal of time to plan.  Proactivity can save you many headaches.
  3. Inaccurate course/splits.  See #2
  4. Course not marked well; runners get lost on course.  Again, see #2.  A map for runners and volunteers can also help.
  5. Not enough entries, too many T-shirts, or vice versa.  A significant price increase for later registrations can help to reduce this.  In addition, have a plan for how you will deal with any shortages.
  6. Missing many volunteers on race day. Appoint a volunteer coordinator, and have a list of specific duties.  Plug specific people into specific jobs.  Confirm volunteers 2-3 days before event.
  7. Race day registration back up.  Not enough or inexperienced volunteers, or poorly laid out registration.
  8. Not enough water stations or volunteers who don’t know how to distribute water to runners.
  9. Not prepared or have inadequate volunteer help at the finish line.  A backup at the finish can tarnish an otherwise great event.
  10. Late finishers and walkers feel they are treated as second class citizens.  Don’t break the finish down too soon, and be sure to have sufficient refreshments for later finishers.
  11. Unorganized kid’s event.  If you are going to do a kid’s run, you need to give it the same type planning as you would the adult’s event.
  12. Unprepared for awards ceremony; slow results.  Runners like to see their results quickly.  In addition, planning needs to go into an effective awards ceremony.
  13. Essentials are overlooked.  (Accurate course, great T-shirt, well-organized registration/packet pickup, well-organized finish, great refreshments.)  Take care of the essentials first.

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