Have you ever considered putting on a race? Or just wondered what went on behind the scenes to host the race that you just ran? I know that personally I was really surprised the first time that I directed a race as to how much work was involved. The end results can be great but it is also not without a lot of risk. You see races popping up all over the place and while the big name races can do quite well, most of these small races barely break even.
A good race director and management team will usually come out okay, but I often see many races haphazardly thrown together and not conducted well. I'm sure that you have participated in both good and bad events. As a race director, there are many pieces to the puzzle that you need to think about. A race diretor is really a project manager and must balance a lot of balls to bring it all together. The director has to be concerned with the course design, venue, marketing, sponsorship, volunteers, entertainment, awards, goodies, post and pre-race activities, registration; just to name a few. This all has to be done on a budget that will still allow for the original goal of making money for the organization. For 99% of the events, the goal is to raise funds for a non-profit which desperately needs the money.
A lot of novice race directors assume by looking at all of the events, that there is always money to be made and that it is easy. They quickly find out that it is not the case. The budget for an event has to incorporate a lot of needs and oftentimes has to do everything from the registration fees alone. Sponsorships for an event are not always readily available. There are the costs associated with course safety such as barricades and police, medals for awards, tshirts, timing, management, food and drink, venue, etc. A race director has to balance all of this and then hope that there are enough registrations and sponsorships to cover all of the costs and still make a profit. I've seen races do really well and others that have actually lost money. It's a game that requires a combination of risk and prudence to be successful. There are those that are quite good at it and others that should just leave it to others.
This is not to say that if you want to put together an event that you shouldn't do it. Quite the contrary. If you have a great idea or need that you want to achieve, then I say go for it. First find yourself a partner though to help you out and guide you in your endeavor. The staff at Athlete Guild has a lot of experience planning and managing events of all kinds be it a 5K, Marathon, Triathlon, or even a mud run. Don't feel like you are all alone and have to discover how to put it all together. Give us a shout and let us be your partner. We'll help you to get your race on course.