In the world of running races, every race director should provide certain things to their runners. After all, runners are paying for a service and and an experience, and they should register for events that provide the best of those things. What are the things a race director should provide without fail? Let’s talk about it.
Runners Deserve Medical Stations At Races
No matter what kind of race a director is promoting, medical aid should be a non-negotiable. Not every race needs first aid along the course, but there should be at least one trained professional available at the start/finish line who is able to triage the plethora of potential runner ailments. In every race, runners can fall and get cuts or scrapes, or even twist or sprain something. They might suffer from heat exhaustion or dehydration. In even more serious instances, there may be chest pains or concerning shortness of breath. A race director should provide at least the most basic of emergency aid to their runners.
A Safe Course Is Imperative
When runners head out to a race, they expect the promised distance of unobstructed running. Open courses should be announced ahead of time, with all precautions and barriers in place to keep runners separated from cars. Law enforcement officers should be posted at intersections and near any areas where runners might encounter sticky situations. It’s the job of the race director to keep his runners as safe and protected as possible at all times.
The Race Director Should Provide A Well Marked Route
No matter how long a race, race directors should provide a clear and well marked route for their athletes. This comes in the form of maps posted before the event, verbal instructions at the start line, and signage along the way. Runners should never have the opportunity to get lost or turned around during an event. This holds especially true for trail runs and races with lots of twists and turns.
Runners Deserve A Prompt Start
One of my biggest pet peeves is a delayed start at a race. When athletes prepare for their race based on a specific time (fueling, bathroom, warm ups), it does everyone a disservice to start late. While things always come up, a race director should provide as timely a start as possible, to ensure the best possible running experience for the people racing that day. Late starts can really mess with a runner’s race plan and strategy, and they should be avoided at all costs.
Accurate Results Are Mandatory
Whether a race is timed via chip or gun, accurate results are a must. Race directors should work hand in hand with their timing partners to make sure that names, divisions, and times are all correct and properly published. Every runner deserves the placement they earned based on the results they ran, and there is nothing worse than an error in timing robbing them of their podium, PR, or other metric. Race directors need to prioritize results.
Race Directors Should Offer Sufficient Hydration
One things that no race director should overlook is sufficient water stations on the course. Obviously, this is of utmost importance in a state like Florida, but runners need water no matter where they live or race. The longer or hotter the race, the more hydration stations and fluid options should be made available. In addition, water and other fluids at the finish line are essential to runner safety and should be offered in plentiful supply.
What things do you think a race director should provide to his runners on race day?
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