I have attended and run over 300 races and, for the most part, I have run the race and gotten my results and went home. I have used certain strategies to park carefully so that I could leave early. Some medals and shirts are better than others, some food sticks out at the end of the race and some weather has made me remember one race over another. However, things that drive me crazy are things that are controllable but are not taken care of at the race in question!! For instance, keeping the runners on the course and in the right direction to get to the finish is paramount – it is a pet peeve of mine to have runners go the wrong way. I also want races to start on time and that are timed correctly.
There are many pieces to race directing that runners don’t see. The list of things to do is pretty extensive and some of the main points are as follows:
Each point can become a blog post on its own. The key is that the race director takes note of what works for having a great race and what does not. Every year is a learning process and helps you get better for the following year. Hopefully there comes a time when the race almost runs itself.
When you need a race director, please make sure you have seen good results from them first.