What Race Directors Wish Runners Understood

May 04, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

 Every runner, no matter their ability, understands the commitment and hard work that goes into training for a road race. But what about the race directors; how hard can it be to put together and execute a race? Carissa Liebowitz of HalfMarathons.net got the opinions of a few race directors and coordinators on what it takes, and here are five things they wish runners understood:

  1. They take care of more than just the race. There are a lot of components that make up a race. In addition to the actual race, directors are also responsible for remembering all the other details such as registration, awards, porta-potties, food, and dozens more. Remember, a lot goes on behind the scenes before race day.
  2. They can’t control everything. If race directors had a say, the weather for every race would be perfect. Unfortunately, Mother Nature sometimes decides to do her own thing. It doesn’t ruin the race, but rather presents unique challenges. And isn’t overcoming obstacles what running is all about?
  3. They sometimes have limited resources. This is especially true of smaller, local races where directors aren’t paid for the many hours they spend away from their families, their day job, and their own training. The special touches such as prizes, food, and post-race festivities take months to organize, so appreciate their efforts.
  4. They worry more than runners do. In addition to the weather, race directors worry about keeping their runners safe. Injuries are always a possibility and being able to have a plan in place and get to an injured runner quickly is always a top priority.
  5. They love giving back. When a race focuses on a cause, the money and awareness raised is usually a big motivator to make it a great event. And since most race directors are also runners, the chance to give back makes any rough spots worth the effort. Tell us in the comments what details you appreciated most in a race you’ve run.