5 Lessons from Joaquin: What To Do When Weather Threatens Your Race

October 02, 2015 - By: Sarah Pease

You can be a seasoned race organizer with a plan in place for every conceivable mishap, but when Mother Nature enters the picture, all bets are off. And just like Hurricane Sandy dampened the hopes of thousands of New York City Marathon runners in 2012, Hurricane Joaquin is threatening to do the same.

With several races already cancelled and others postponed, organizers along the East Coast are making difficult decisions around safety and logistics. We talked to pro race director Jonathan Pauley from Renegade Racing about what you can do leading up to and during a potential weather-related crisis to keep all lines of communication open:

  1. The Fine Print - Make sure you've clearly communicated to participants during and after their registration process what the race rules are, especially around weather and cancellations.
  2. Gear Up - Never underestimate the power of a good rain poncho! Ordering weather-related supplies beforehand (and having them readily accessible for both volunteers and participants) can make or break event day if you choose to proceed even in less-than-ideal conditions.
  3. Eye On The Sky - Keep close tabs on the National Weather Service leading up to event day - even an advisory should make you take a serious look at your event day plans. If the NWS upgrades to a warning, it's time to assess whether or not to cancel your race.
  4. To Cancel Or To Postpone - Most likely you've already sunk costs (60-70%) beforehand, from t-shirts to medals to traffic control, but ultimately safety for your participants, volunteers, and workers must prevail.
  5. Never Too Much Information - Keep your participants up-to-date on conditions leading up to the event. Communication via email, social media, and your website is key to clearing up any confusion. The last thing you want is for your participants to be on social media answering each others questions - this can be avoided by being proactive every time the situation changes and communicating regularly.

When you're faced with a tough decision about canceling or postponing a race, you need all the help you can get. Events.com offers a mobile app allowing you to send push notifications to all of your participants in one click, an event page that can be updated from your mobile device on the fly with new information and a live feed of your social media channels, and a DIY easy cancellation or refund feature that lets you take care of your participants without having to wait for a support desk help ticket. Want more information on Events.com? Click
here or email us at
hello@events.com.