What Event Planners Can Learn from Ultramarathons

March 01, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

  It takes a certain kind of runner to look at 26.2 miles and decide it no longer feeds their running fix. Running an
ultramarathon (50K – 100 miles) requires calculated preparation and planning to ensure the athlete crosses the finish line. In fact, the principles used to train can also be applied to organizing and executing an event.
Joel Ballezza, a globetrotting digital marketer (and ultramarathoner), has some
sage advice he’s learned on the trails that planners can use.
Visualize Your Goal Take an honest look at what it will take to cross the ‘finish’ line and then measure your work progress in meetings, short-term goals, etc. Being able to check off these accomplishments along the way to your long-term goal will keep you motivated throughout the planning process.
Micromanage More Usually the word ‘micromanage’ conjures up negative images of a meddling boss. In this context look at it as tackling one segment of your event at a time and adjusting your ‘pace’ and timing to meet your workload while constantly reevaluating your process. You wouldn’t sprint every day for weeks on end because it’s not smart and you’d burn out. By micromanaging your planning, you can be sure you have enough resources to make it to the event.
Hurt or Hurting? Ultramarathoners know the difference between being ‘hurt’ (runner can’t continue and drops out of the race) and ‘hurting’ (needs food or a quick break). Checking in with your team while planning an event is one of the best ways to determine if the project is going through just a rough patch (hurting) or if there is something in the process that is hurt and needs to be addressed right away. Tell us in the comments what you think of these ultramarathon ideas for events.