Friday, February 24, 2012

We Have Arrived

You know you have arrived as a race director when:
  • Your friend spots last year's Run Scared t-shirt at the Goodwill (and you yourself haven't donated it). Sort of a bittersweet moment as you want your participants to love and wear your shirts, but that also means that there were enough people at the race to have your shirt circulating through Goodwill. I hope someone buys it!
  • You get harassed by event t-shirt companies, almost on a daily basis, to get your business.
  • Your company gets invited (unsolicited) by REI to their first annual Running Expo at their flagship store (stay tuned for details).
  • You are on a first name basis with almost all the running store owners in town.
  • Other people come to you for advice on how to put on races - I love this and almost all the people you talk to walk away shaking their heads saying, "I ain't doing all that work!"
  • You have companies contacting you wanting to give away their products at your events. In the past I have always had to beg for cool stuff to give away. Now its just rolling in!
  • Being approached by volunteers offering to volunteer on race day. Also, in the past I have had to beg and bribe friends and family. Now for Good Karma (still 3 months away) I already have a good chunk of my volunteers.
Milestones still to look forward to as a race director:
  • Selling out a race in advance of race day - Seattle? You up for it!? Good Karma is open for registration!
  • Landing John Curley as an MC - John? You up for it!?
  • Having one of our races featured in Runners World - Every issue I get in the mail I flip straight to that section in hopes, but alas, not to be, yet! Runners World? You up for it?
  • Getting an airline to donate two round trip tickets as a prize! Alaska Air? You up for it!?
  • Attracting a world-class athlete to participate. Deena, Haile, Paula, Shalane, Ryan? You up for it!?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Odd things found in a race director's car

We are still months away from an event of ours. Yet I still have odd things in my car, things that a non-race director might not have.

Right now in my car:
  • Garden stakes with laminated signs taped to them of various companies and groups - picked up from West Seattle Runner, left over team signs from Run Scared 5K
  • Sponsor kits for Get a Clue, should I happen to be near a business that I think should sponsor an event
  • Posters and flyers for Get a Clue
  • Camping chairs - I frequently find myself volunteering at races or training run waterstops where it is handy to have chairs
  • 200 plastic wrist bands from LifeCenter Northwest that were sent to me for Good Karma 5K that haven't made it into the storage unit quite yet
  • A bag of safety pins that my dad has gathered for me over the last year, so I can save money on ordering safety pins for the next event (isn't that sweet?)
  • A megaphone borrowed from a friend for Run Scared that hasn't been returned yet, waiting till I see her - she is not too concerned over it, after-all, how often do you need a megaphone in everyday life? He is affectionately named Mr. Mega.
Although not in my car at this exact moment the following items have been known to kick around my car:
  • Water jugs
  • Plastic folding tables
  • Empty produce boxes - to store goody bags in for race day
  • Boxes of old race shirts - awaiting a nice Goodwill drop box
  • Timing system bollards - I didn't even know what a bollard was before race directing, and still don't really know, but I had one in my car for that emergency timing purpose!
  • Tarps
  • Noisemakers - for course monitors so they can show the love to the participants
  • Piles and piles and piles of flyers and magazines to stuff into goody bags - so much so that one time my car was so heavy it got stuck in a steep driveway and had to be half unloaded before getting started again
  • Leftover energy bars - good for emergency low blood sugar moments and to give to people on the side of the road who asking for help
  • Cones
Hey, at least I will be well prepared if I ever get stranded in my car somewhere and need to feed, cloth, cheer and time hundreds of people!

You do not even want to know what is in the storage unit, a place that only the strong and brave, and those with quick reflexes (for when the door bursts open because of too much stuff) go to. That is for another post.