I believe I’ve already answered these questions on another forum but I guess this is your chance to see how consistent my answers are…
1. I don’t know if I’d put it on my tree but it might be neat, something different at least. Many runners already have so many medals that they just end up getting thrown in a drawer. Having something different is kind of nice.
2. Shirts aren’t that big of a deal to me. I guess I prefer shirts without sponsor logos all over them but I also understand that sponsors pay more to have their logos on the shirts. If having sponsor logos results in lower entry fees, I’m a fan of having logos all over the place.
3. They don’t really. It’s more about how well the race is organized and how they treat the competitive runners.
4. Mostly through word of mouth. I’ll occasionally check online race calendars but, if it’s a key race like a marathon would be, I would want to hear from other competitors that the race takes good care of the competitive runners.
5. How well my racing experience was. Did the race give me the best possible opportunity to run well? For long races, were aid stations prepared when the leaders went through? Could the aid station workers keep up with the traffic of the runners? Was traffic control in place when the leaders went through? Was the course well marked and were the runners well directed? Things like this.
6. Finishers medals don’t make a big difference to me but I’m not sure I understand the need for finishers medals for a half marathon or 10k in the first place.
7. I guess I just answered this one.
Here’s a race director’s guide that you may find useful for the logistics of directing a race: http://www.usaldr.org/runners_races/RMindex.html