So... you wanna be a race director, huh?
It turns out that putting on a 5K takes a lot of work. Over the coming months, this running diary will document what happens behind the scenes to run a *hopefully* smooth race. If you've ever caught yourself daydreaming at the start line of a race, wondering "I wonder how this all gets done?", then swipe on some Body Glide, suck down a GU, and try to keep up! If you couldn't care less how it is that your chip timing, race shirt, and finisher's bagel happens, ignore this section of the website, and sign up for the race under the "Registration" tab.
Every person I meet with that's done this before (direct a race) has the same rhetorical question: so...you wanna be a race director, huh? At first blush, I found this a little puzzling, if not mildly condescending. But... after a paltry three weeks of planning a race, I understand their preponderance. I'm quickly finding out that this is going to take a lot of work. And, it's going to involve a lot of decisions, which is the big theme of this maiden entry.
No runner is neutral on the machinations of what goes into a race. Seasoned runners have firm opinions on finisher medals, age group awards, shirts, aid stations, pace teams, porta-johns, fun runs, relays, logos, beer tents, bands, DJs, and countless other decisions that fall on the race director. If you think about it, planning a race is about as close to planning a wedding as it gets. It is your responsibility to find a venue that can contain at least a few hundred people, provide structured entertainment for about an hour, settle the band vs. DJ debate, and accept the fact that some choices you make will not please everyone. Both rituals have been taking place for thousands of years (ancient foot races), with one involving significantly more commitment (I hope my next PR isn't a "till death due us part" situation).
In the coming weeks and months, you'll get an inside peek of the choices that me and my team make while planning the Gallup Gallop. You may not like every decision we land on, but I promise you this: we are going to work our butts off to make sure it is a 5K / Relay you will remember. Will there be a medal? Will there be a shirt? When will we run the race?