Race Directing is Hard

This is what my car looked like at 7 am this morning.

How much can you load in a Jetta wagon?
How much can you load in a Jetta wagon?

I am in charge of this small race for the Tamalpa running club. It’s called the Couples Relays, because two partners — male and female — each have to run two miles. It’s never more than about 50-75 couples, but we have all kinds of prizes and divisions (age, kids with parents, kids with kids, married, open). And, because it’s pretty small I just do most of it. I sort of doubt the race director for big races actually shove everything in their car, but it’s easier.

This year I just didn’t have time to spend a ton of work on the race, so I didn’t. And, a lot of people helped out and it went smoothly.

But, my least favorite thing about race directing isn’t the organizing. I can make checklists and to-do lists and spreadsheets and checklists like it’s my fucking job. But, I am terrible at being constantly enthusiastic, which is sort of required to get people to sign up and come and be into it. Any job that requires constant excitement is probably not for me. Similarly we can rule out cruise director or professional scavenger hunt organizer.

4 thoughts on “Race Directing is Hard

  1. Every one of your posts brings a smile to my face. This pic and post are priceless. Anyone who’s ever directed a race can relate. I’m still laughing about your race photos post too. You’re so hard on yourself. But that’s what we love about you.

  2. We put on a few open water swims during the summer here, and the hardest thing for me is handing out t-shirts. I can never believe how amped/upset people get about the stupid t-shirts! Like if they don’t register in time and get all mad that they have to wait until after the event to see if we have any left or people who constantly want to switch sizes. And then afterwards if we do have extra there is always this frenzy of people trying to get to them. It’s crazy. But definitely putting on a race gives you a lot respect and understanding at the races you compete in.

    1. Yeah, people are crazy.

      There’s this group here, in NorCal, that puts on bike races for like $24 and they’re completely, not even kidding, totally staffed by gang members and meth heads, who pick up the water bottles people throw out and hand them back out to the next riders, and there is no food or first aid or frills. When a friend of mine crashed into a barbed wire fence they gave me a bandaid. And, I always think ‘this race organization is insane.’ But, man, it works for them and the races are super popular.

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