Breaking Down the Event
The race might be over for the participants, but you still have some work cut out for you. First-time race directors don’t want to find themselves in the middle of leftover food, trash bins, tents and equipment, with only a handful of people sticking around to help out. Plan ahead.
“If you haven’t planned for breakdown, it can be a nightmare,” said McGillivray. “Everybody wants to leave, but you‘ve got a lot of work to do. You may want to consider bringing in a separate team. Instead of having everyone come in at 4am, bring in a fresh team to show up at the finish line. You don’t want to have the same guys who work three days planning and setting up and who showed up at 2am, to be the only ones who are all there after the event.”
After the Event
You will start receiving feedback anywhere from hours to weeks after your event. If you’re lucky, you’ll find words of praise in your inbox about how much fun people had at your event.
However, it is very likely that participants will complain. And you—the race director—need to know how to respond to them.
“You’re always going to get complaints no matter how prepared you are,” said Hiner. “Try to answer them as nice as possible, don’t take it personally, and most of all--don’t let it get you down. People like to complain. Try to make them feel like you’re listening and taking their complaint seriously.”
It’s especially difficult when one participant complains about a part of your race that another participant took the time to compliment.
“I can’t believe you posted the results in THIS order! And I can’t believe you posted the results in THAT order! Who has more merit?” recalls Hiner from contradicting feedback she got from her last race. “You just have to make the best decision you can with the information you have. You can’t please everyone.”
And don’t forget to say thank you. Those two small words go a long way. Don’t forget to thank:
- Your sponsors.
- Your participants: Send an email directing them to race results–where to find the event next year, when the website will be updated, when more info will be available.
- Local authorities and police.
- Volunteers: If they are happy with their experience, they’ll help out again. And next time, they’ll already know what to do.
Final step is to post race results and photos for participants to see. Post anything associated with event so people can remember their experience…and remember to sign up next year!
Click here to learn more about race websites.