Chapter Seven

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Race Scoring

Basic functions for scoring a race are handling the finish line, timing and manual scoring.

Set up of the course--barricades, cones, mile markers, aid stations and marshals--may also be included. When measurement (and certification) of the course is required, a professional measurer is hired to perform these functions.

Usually eliminated are concerns about the entry form, obtaining permits and insurance, dealing with the police and other municipal authorities, deciding on the merchandise gift and awards, handling most of the ordering chores, setting up registration, and following through on post-race media requirements. These are usually included in race management responsibilities.

Race Management

In addition to the items mentioned in the previous paragraph, race management responsibilities usually include recruiting and assigning volunteers.

Race Management Requirements

The man-hours required to manage a race (handling an event from start to finish) vary depending on the size of the race. The following considerations cover a small- to medium-size race and do not include the many items additionally required to put on a major race or marathon.

To Do:


1. Determine 6-12
  • race name
  • theme
  • date
  • distance
  • course (including initial police approval)                            
  • time
  • location
  • registration procedures
2. Solicit sponsorship 12-60
  • meeting with prospects
  • agreements to terms and payment schedule
  • preparation and signing of agreement
  • update meetings and reports
  • camera-ready art of sponsors. logos
3. Create entry form 3-12
  • information from item number 1
  • entry fee
  • late fee, if any
  • merchandise gift, e.g. T-shirt
  • post-race refreshments
  • special instructions and race rules
  • awards (type, number per age category)
  • waiver/agreement
  • entertainment*
  • transportation*
  • map*
  • parking*
  • split times*
  • aid stations*
4. Review and approve graphic design for entry form
5. Have entry form printed 6-30
  • delivery (time-consuming) or mailing to running stores, etc.
6. Complete course requirements 6-20
  • suitability
  • measurement
  • certification*
7. Meet with police 3-6
  • final approval
  • man-hour requirements
  • traffic control
8. Obtain permits 3-6
  • city officials*
  • state patrol*
  • park officials*
9. Secure liability insurance 4-8
  • through USATF or RRCA
  • "additional insured" certificates to municipality, sponsors, etc.
  • post-race reports to USATF (size of race, prize money)
10. Order merchandise gift 6-20
  • short- or 1ong~sleeve T-shirts
  • 100% cotton (preferred) or 50/50
  • color
  • design (from paid or volunteer art director)
  • determine quantity
  • bids from screen printers
  • printing
  • deliver to registration locations*
11. Order awards 3-6
  • trophies, medals or ribbons
  • delivery to race site
12. Order (and pickup or have delivered*) 6-60
  •  bib numbers
  • portable toilets
  • barricades, cones*
  • ambulance/medical personnel*
  • cups for aid stations
  • post-race refreshments
  • sound system*
  • banners
  • coffee and donuts for volunteers
13. Finalize course 2-5
  • positions for barricades, cones, road closures
14. Set up registration 6-20
  • registration/packet pickup locations
  • mail-in entries processed
  • packets for registration locations prepared
  • packets for race day pickup prepared
  • bank deposits made
15. Determine and order volunteer benefits 3-8
  • shirts
  • pre- or post-race parties
  • other gifts*
16. Prepare scoring sheets

17. Prepare volunteer assignments

18. Coordinate invited athletes* 1-20
  • letters
  • phone calls
  • complimentary entries
  • follow-up, thank yous
19. Do computerized registration and scoring*
20. Check timing and radio gear 1-2
  • recharged as needed
  • batteries replaced
  • data tapes (checked and replaced if necessary)
21. Confirm equipment and supply orders
22. Confirm water sources for aid stations
23. Prepare the course 1-2
  • mile markers
  • barricades and cones
  • gate openings/closings*
24. Assign the volunteers 1-2
  • checked in
  • T-shirts distributed*
  • equipment distributed*
  • checked out

25. Put on the race

26. Provide race results 1-6
  • phone calls
  • press releases
  • stories for special publications*
27. Ship or mail unclaimed awards* 3-6
28. Wrap up/evaluate 1-6
  • report to sponsors
  • final financial figures
  • problems noted and solutions planned for next year. s race
Total hours
* When applicable

# Registration data entry for major events takes hundreds of

hours, for medium-size races 20-100 hours

Being Successful

The time ranges for the various responsibilities required to put on a road race are obviously very broad. Although many of the issues faced by race directors of all size events are similar in many areas, the same issue usually becomes more complicated as the size of the race increases.

Keep in mind that it may take less time to handle the various items necessary for a small race, but all the steps applicable to that event must be covered. Gone are the days when a race director could scratch a start/finish line in the dirt, begin a stopwatch and toss it under a nearby bush, and expect the first person back to the line to retrieve the watch and a clipboard and write down the other finishers. names and times as they crossed that line in the dirt.

Particularly if you want your race to grow, remember that you are competing with other events for attention and entrants. And runners will go where they know they will be well taken care of, i.e. they. ll receive a great T-shirt, run an accurately measured course, have their time recorded correctly, enjoy post-race refreshments and entertainment, receive their results in a reasonable time, and perhaps win a medal or trophy.

Not even mentioned are some of the other items that are simply "expected:" available parking, adequate portable toilets, an exciting start area, a properly marked course, an even-more-exciting finish area, and a general ambiance of color and fun that will draw the runners back for the next year. s race.

For small fun runs concerns about "marketing" are usually irrelevant. But once you direct races with sponsors that expect recognition and media coverage, or agree to provide a donation to some beneficiary, or decide you want a bigger and better event, you will have to become promotion-oriented and meticulous.

We have been asked what has made the Bolder Boulder so successful. There are many factors, but at the top of the list is "attention to detail."


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