Marathons are huge events today. Many of the larger ones deal with runners numbering more tens of thousands. The most important person through this entire process is the Race Event Manager. The one responsible for how smoothly the event is run start to finish.
A few hundred marathons compete to get the best registrations every year. So how does one become an efficient race manager to bring out a successful event year on year? There are a few common features and a few special skills that are required for this.
Self – Discipline
Race manager needs to work with the highest level of self-discipline. The same focus that an athlete applies to his training is required when trying to plan an athletic event. Apart from the athletic part of the event, there is also a business side that needs to be managed. This means to focus and discipline are paramount for a race manager. Discipline can also be defined in terms of being organised. The manager can choose to develop their own method or use readily available tools that help one plan and execute a marathon.
There are three stages to organising a marathon – Pre-race registration, Race Day and After event activities. In all three stages, there are three rules to remember – Organise with clarity to all stakeholders, don’t lose money and have a good time.
All three stages of activities require a different approach to organisational and planning skills. The pre-race is about dealing with off-site activities such as registration, permissions, and budgeting. This can be done by a team out of an office but the real skill comes into play when all of these aspects can be managed with a window of clarity to every team member. There are programs that can help you bring order to your pre-race activities. The race day comes with a new set of challenges of managing the sea of runners and spectators who gathered at the venue and along the course. Your post-race activities will involve thank-you’s and clear payments to ensure that your vendors come back to support you the next year.
Every race needs sponsors and runners’ and both require a different set of marketing skills. Finding sponsors needs critical planning and budgeting and also selling the cause for why they should partner with your race. Convincing the running community requires more involvement in the race, along the course and affiliations to big races for race timing. The race needs to be always marketed from the point of view of the participants hence it is of prime importance that as race manager you look for avenues where you can find the most number of runners. Look for tie-ups with large running groups and clubs and also seek out courses that will be interesting for the marathoners to consider running.
This is the key to any marathon events success. Information about the race, the expo day and race day facilities have to be communicated in a clear and precise manner. The race manager will have to ensure that these communications are shared in a timely and clear manner and that all participants receive the same. This can be managed through mass e-mailer and SMS systems to ensure accurate delivery of information.
There a million things that a race manager has to keep in mind while planning a marathon but the most important one is to ensure that you are effectively supported and equipped to ensure that your race day is a memorable one.
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