You can spend a lot of money on tshirts and medals, but we’re talking about a different type of racer experience that goes beyond swag. How does your race FEEL to a racer? Day of todos: Be prepared with extra volunteers. Make sure you are available at your event and not tied up in details. Be the person welcoming racers. When packet pick up begins, so should the high fives. Thank your athletes for joining you. Share the why behind your event if someone has time. Make them feel a part of your race. If you are not the high energy type- assign this position to a person with a contagious personality. Think of them as the Master of Racer Experience.
Music is key. Make sure your choices are upbeat on race day. This sets the tone. It’s early, people woke up in order to spend their FREE time with you. Listen as people talk. Encourage the ones saying they plan to walk. Talk to others about their goal time. SMILE! High five the kids that got dragged out of their beds for this endeavor. Do you have an MC? Make sure to pick one who can talk easily and upbeat, but with a BOOM. Make sure they thank the vendors, any partners, and the racers for coming out.
This should go without saying, but OVER mark your course. This matters to racers. Mark every turn, any possible area of confusion. You will have kids, new racers, and the direction challenged. Prepare for them! A poorly marked course will really hurt the feeling of your event. Be sure you have coached your volunteers to actively CHEER for your racers.
It’s time for the gun to go off and for the feet to get moving! Here we go!! Tick tock.. Oh man.. 14 minutes..maybe 17 if you’re at altitude. Or 21 minutes if you have a normal field, but any second the first runner should be coming back.. No matter how many races you produce, this is the most stressful part of the entire WEEK!!!! OMG DID WE MARK THE COURSE ENOUGH??????
YES! Here comes the first runner!!!! Bells are being rung, high fives are being given.. Again. The calm sets in for you… its all butter from here! Turn the music a bit louder, grab a beer, and yes, it may only be 10am but who cares. Have your volunteers cheer and high five everyone. Run out to your final finisher and cross that line with them. This is what its about…..Racer experience. Good luck on planning for year two.