Race Director Blog: Welcome to 'Ask the Race Director'

Welcome to RunnersWorld.com's blog, "Ask the Race Director." I am Dave McGillivray, Race Director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and President of Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises, Inc., a 28-year-old event management company that has produced or consulted on more than 800 events nationally and internationally.

 

As a runner myself, I feel we are all in this sport together, runners and race directors alike. I have run 123 marathons and have even run across the entire United States. So I feel I have a good idea of what runners are interested in and what works, and what doesn't, for runners. As a race director, I feel the same way about the issues on this side of the fence. Of course, I don't have all the answers to all the issues. However, perhaps together we can come up with some consensus on the many challenges facing our sport.

 

In keeping with this thinking, the intent of this blog is threefold:

 

  1. To share information about what it takes to direct a race;
  2. To ask for information and opinions from runners as to what they want to see in a race; and
  3. To collectively decide what, overall, is best for our sport.

 

In most cases, there is no right or wrong answer or decision. Most of the time it is just a case of personal preferences. From time to time I will invite other experienced Race Directors to host this column and offer their feedback and insights. Thus, you won't be getting information just from me, but from a variety of the best and most experienced event directors in the country.

 

Some of the various topics we'll address here include:

 

  • Races closing out in record pace
  • Transferring of race bib numbers
  • Monday morning blues — the morning after
  • Knowing the course — whose responsibility is it?
  • Awards — is "double dipping" fair?
  • Headphones — safe or unsafe in races?
  • Entry fee refunds
  • Scoring by net time vs. gun time
  • Should a race be cancelled due to extreme heat or other extreme weather conditions?
  • Awards — what do you like best (medals, trophies, plaques, gift certificates, merchandise, other)?
  • Cut off times — time limits on races
  • Mobility-impaired divisions
  • Postrace refreshments — what is best?
  • Entertainment along the course
  • Will anything ever replace the T-shirt as a giveaway?

 

This is just a sampling of subjects. Feel free to e-mail me at racedirector@rodale.com if you have other subjects you'd like to see us write about.

 

I'm looking forward to it!

 

Regards,
Dave McGillivray