Re: Re: Racing strategies

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I've seen similar problems with some of the race management in my area. If it is a very low-cost, no-frills, pay-at-the-starting-line and go type race then, I would have no problems with seeing some of those issues, but if costs are similar to other races, I expect the similar quality. Interestingly, the no-frills races that I have run tend to get the important stuff right.

Perhaps the best race that I have seen in terms of course marking was a relatively small 5K that appeared to be organized by someone involved in the charity for which the funds were raised. Each intersection was marked with arrows painted on the roadway before the intersection and tightly spaced cones blocking the incorrect turns in the intersection. Between the curbs and the cones, I think that someone could probably navigate that course blindfolded. I am not sure if the race director is also a runner, but she is definitely a talented organizer.

There are other race directors who are definitely runners who could learn a lot from her. For one half marathon/marathon that was run mostly on paved city trails, there was one turn that was unmarked. I had heard that there had been a tape arrow on the course that was removed, but since that particular race director tends to have a few glitches, I cannot help but wonder if the tape were ever there. Someone did come back and mark it before the marathon runners completed their second loop. Fortunately, it did not cause a major problem. Runners just missed a small section where the course left the main trail to go around a small park and then merged back onto the main trail about a half mile later. As a result, the races were probably about 3/4 mile shorter than advertised.

As I see it, organizational and problem solving skills are more important for race directing than running experience — though I think that race directors should experience races from a participant and volunteer perspective in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges that they face.