This month we'd like to introduce you to Taylor Ritchey
Tell us your story? Why did you become a race director?
I am so inspired by the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the research and support they provide for those living with cystic fibrosis. Through our annual Tower Climb event, we raise significant funds to further the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to cure cystic fibrosis. We have been hosting this event for over 37 years, and we are one of two organizations that are able to utilize the Tower of the Americas for a race. It is so exciting to be part of this exclusive event.
What do you love about your experiences as a race director? What have been your biggest challenges?
The relationships I have created with the participants, the committee members, and the CF families is the best part of coordinating our Tower Climb race. Also, seeing people come from all around the world to participate is amazing. One of the biggest challenges I have encountered recently was COVID and not being able to host our event inside the Tower of the Americas. We had to find an outdoor venue and reroute the race to a stadium and recreate the same experience our participants look forward to year after year.
How do you feel your expertise in the field sets you apart from other race directors?
The Tower Climb is such a unique race, and I think logistically this event sets me apart from other race directors. As a race director, I am not content with simply hosting the event year after year. I am constantly looking for ways to improve and make it bigger and better each year.
Tell us about a crazy/funny/"you would never believe this happened"/story at one of your events!
Each year, we have someone sing the National Anthem during the opening ceremonies. Last year, we were unable to secure someone to sing and happened to have someone from the show, India's Got Talent, in our crowd. He will be performing at our 2023 event and we hope to have him every year after!
As a race director, what is your #1 goal?
My number one goal every year is increase participation. As we continue to gain participants, we raise awareness about cystic fibrosis and further our cause to cure cystic fibrosis, to fund research and drug development, and support to those living cystic fibrosis.
What are you most proud of as a race director?
I am most proud of the work we do for the CF Community and seeing people come from all over the world to participate in the Tower Climb. It is so rewarding to take a look around at the end of the event and see the smiles and excitement in everyone's faces and seeing everyone come together to raise money and awareness for an amazing cause.
Do you have any advice for others venturing into race directing?
My advice would be to make sure you have a good pre-event check list, you are organized, and you are prepared for as many circumstances as possible. All the planning and organization comes down to the start line. Once the race begins, the hard part is over!
If you are willing, please share your contact info?
Taylor Ritchey - firstname.lastname@example.org