Monday, May 6, 2013

Race Director

My fellow race director and I

This past weekend I had my first stint as a race director - sort of fell in my lap in a crazy fashion - I learned a lot and have a whole new appreciation for race directors and race volunteers (remind me to volunteer more often at races - volunteers make or break it). Our race was held at our NEMN synod assembly (read a bunch of church folks who get together to talk about church stuff and what God's doing in the world and how we are called to participate in it). Last year there was a 2 mile walk to raise funds for malaria and a friend and I said wouldn't it be fun if we had a full 5k during the assembly to  promote wellness and raise funds for something. And we got put in charge - the money we raised went to our outdoor camps in the area.

Chalking sidewalks at 4:30am
My most favorite pre-race/registration email is as follows:
"I’ll plan to participate in the 5K run, under the giddily optimistic  assumption that I can move one foot in front of the other  that early in the morning with enough persistence to find my way back  to the finish line at Zion before the opening session Saturday am. Good idea, this walk/run venture. I’ll get the check and the registration form in the mail tomorrow ."

I seriously laughed aloud at this email as I read it. How funny is that?!

It was a smallish race - 90 people ran and I couldn't have been more excited and massively consider it a success. Money was raised for our camps and 90 people got in a little bit of exercise before sitting in meetings all day. I was doubtful when we began this endeavor and thought we wouldn't have more than about 30 people.
Prepping some volunteers

Lessons learned:

  • people will register past the deadline
  • always order way more shirts than you think you'll need - you will have plenty of people sign up the day off
  • there are a TON of details that go into a race
  • it is fun to watch races where people are running for the first time and to celebrate their victories 
  • I desperately wanted to run it - when volunteering for a race run a ridiculously good run the day before so my legs are nice and tired and don't want to/can't fathom running
  • keep a notebook of the things we want to change next year

Have you ever been a race director?
What is your favorite post race food?


  1. You should have asked me for help!:) We did the 5K last year at fall theological and I've run a couple CC meets. I'm sure all went well and now you know what to do the same/different next year! Way to go!

    1. I TOTALLY spaced out that you had done that! Seriously. BLAH!

      Okay, we still may need to get some info from you for next year!

  2. I can't even imagine organizing a race! Now that you have one under your belt keep going!
    emma @

    1. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would. I am thankful that this one was smallish - 90 registrants.

  3. Awesome! Way to go, girl! I've never been a race director before...I find the idea intimidating, so kudos to you! Congrats on a successful event! :0)

    1. It is TOTALLY intimidating. Seriously.

      On to next year's 5k.