Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Challenging long held ideas about racing

As a race director these days you have to be creative with new races. As was mentioned in an earlier post, everything under the sun has been done before.

This sort of creative thinking has led me to challenge some long-held ideas about foot races.

The first, and most baffling being the notion that every race has to give out shirts as part of the package deal. Why, oh why has this become a tradition? I realize that people want a commemorative something to show off that they completed an endurance event, something to mark the occasion. And, I get that sponsors want their logo to be seen around the city.

But the reality of the situation goes something like this: most regular runners participate in a lot of events, which results in lots of t-shirts in their running drawer (and, most, like me, can't even close the drawer because it is too jam packed). This results in a lot of those expensive and well thought out shirts either at the bottom of someone's storage unit, or at the Goodwill. This is especially true of smaller races who don't have a budget for tech shirts and have to settle for cotton short sleeved shirts.

The first year I put together Run Scared I did mugs, and people loved them. Why not mugs/hats/blankets/backpacks...These days you can put a logo on just about anything. So, why, oh why, do we still give out shirts at races?

Other suggestions? What would you like to have instead of a t-shirt?

The second tradition being questioned? Well, you will have to wait till the next blog posting about that (we need to iron out a few details before making the announcement).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Obsessive Email Checkers Anonymous

Hi, my name is Ilana, I am a Race Director, and I am an obsessive email checker.

I do not know if this is a phenomenon amongst other race directors or if it's just my own brand of crazy. But, after something public happens related to any of our events such as an email was sent out, or a Facebook mention on something huge (like we got this morning on A Million Cool Things To Do In Seattle for Get a Clue which has over 19,000 likes on Facebook), or registration opening or an ad hitting, or whatever it is; I obsessively check my email for race registrations thinking, naively, that this one thing will make people want to sign up instantly.

After something like this hits I rush to my email, with high hopes, like a kid on Christmas morning, expecting my inbox to be filled to capacity with registration confirmation emails. Sometimes this happens, but most times people sign up at the most random times.

I also find that on days I think would make people think about running outside, like a particularly sunny winter day, or a warmer than normal spring day, that people would sign up on days like that. But, alas, it is usually the really nasty weather days that gets the most sign ups. Perhaps like me, everyone is already outside on days like that and not surfing the web looking for races to sign up for.

So, on days like today I feel like I should start my own support group of obsessive email checkers. I have one of those email programs that automatically updates when a new email comes in, yet I think that if I hit refresh they will magically appear faster than if I had not.

I check it first thing when I wake up and the last thing before bed.

Thank god for Smartphones, or else I would never leave my office!

Even just now, while writing this post, I must have absent-mindedly checked my email about 5 times.

Please, get me some help!