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RaceDirector Blog

Learn tips for organzing a successful race, along with tutorials and help for getting the most out of your RaceDirector account.

Obstacle Race or Mud Run:  Build It and They Will Come

Obstacle Race or Mud Run: Build It and They Will Come

Obstacle races and mud runs have become all the rage over the past few years. The Tough Mudder organization alone saw over 2 million people participate at their events last year. The Spartan Race is another version of the obstacle race that is geared for intensely competitive people who want to be physically pushed to their limit. You will also find any number of other versions of an obstacle race or mud run in smaller communities around the country. If your participants want to race or just want the accomplishment of finishing, everyone has a smile on their dirty faces at the finish line of these events. Here are some considerations for adding one to your calendar of events.

Recent RaceDirector Posts

Marketing Your Event to Millennials

For the past few decades the Baby Boomers have been on the top of the heap and wielded the largest influence when it comes to marketing value. These folks are mostly retired with plenty of free time and disposable income. They are still a force to be reckoned with, but the Millennials now outnumber the silver-haired foxes and comprise the largest demographic in the United States.

Build Customer Loyalty for Your Event

Look at any race calendar these days and you will find dozens of events within driving distance of your town that you can choose to participate in and support. New ones pop up every year. If you already have your event established and are enjoying some level of community support, now is the time to make sure that your participants keep you at the top of their list when it comes time to decide where to spend their registration dollars.

How to Put on a Dog-friendly Event

They do not call dogs man’s best friend for nothing. They are members of our family that can be as important to us as our children, except the dogs follow directions better and are not as messy. People like to take their furry friends with them everywhere these days. Running events are no exception. So why not put on an event that caters to 45% of the households that have at least one of the 78 million dogs in this country!

Help Topic: Sponsorship Management

Obtaining sponsors to help offset the fixed costs of your event can be crucial to an events long-term success. This help topic will walk you through the functionality on the RaceDirector platform that will make it simple for you to maintain and grow your sponsorship relationships.

5 reasons 2016 was a great year at RaceDirector

This time of year, all the chatter is about how fantastic/horrible the last 12 months were and how the next 12 months will be even better. 2016 was definitely one of those years! So yes, this is one of those articles where we are going to highlight a few notable highlights from the past year.

How to Avoid Disappointing Event Sponsors

It takes hard work to put on a race and go out and secure the right kind of sponsors for your event. Sponsors have lots of choices these days. Sponsorship dollars can greatly help underwrite many of your fixed costs and allow you to keep entry fees more reasonable or donate more dollars to a charity you support. Once you have sponsors on board, follow some of the tips below to make sure you keep them!

How to Use Facebook Live to Promote Your Event

Over the past few months here at RaceDirector, we are sure that you have noticed when scrolling your Facebook feed, it seems every other post is someone who was "Live". In the month of October, that was mostly politicians vying for votes. Keep reading to learn how Facebook Live can help your race get in front of more eyeballs.

Help Topic: Email Participants

Communicate with your registered race participants without having to export to an external email program. Send your participants important updates, reminders, or last-minute changes to your event.

Help Article: Email Templates

Utilizing email templates allows you to easily communicate with many different groups including your participants, volunteers, sponsors, and donors. You can personalize and customize the email messages that get sent out automatically in response to certain actions.

Help Article: Add-on Products

This feature is designed to allow you to offer options for your participants during the check-out phase of the registration process. These can be opportunities for them to buy additional merchandise other than what is included in their registration package, tickets for pre-race meals, or other upgrades.

How to Promote Your Event Offline

In the rush to keep up with the latest trends in online marketing and the myriad of new social media outlets, many events and organizations seem to have completely abandoned any form of marketing or advertising outside of the digital realm. While it is true that you should be utilizing all these new forms of technology allowing you to reach a far broader audience than ever before, do not ignore some of the more traditional, non-digital marketing opportunities to create awareness about your event.

Help Topic: Promo Codes

In this article we will cover how to complete the different options available for Promo Codes.

Simple SEO Strategies for Race Directors

If you build it, they will come. This might have applied to the Field of Dreams, but unfortunately, does not work for websites competing for coveted space on the first page of search results on Google. Executing some basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your race website can greatly increase the potential for runners to find your specific event.

Cold Weather Events: Embrace the Elements

For some of you out there, your geographic location is going to force you to deal with some colder weather if you want to have a running event between November and February. Others may only get an occasional cold blast during the time of year their event is scheduled. Whichever category you fall into, there are important details that need to be considered.

Help Topic: Race Events

This help article will cover the Race Settings that can be found on your dashboard under Manage Race > Race Events

Tips on How to Structure Event Age Groups

People run for all kinds of reasons. For most, the primary competition for a runner is against themselves. Chasing a PR, weight loss, or general fitness are common themes. Some are driven to compete and want to win. People also want to know how their results stack up against their peer group. Having properly staggered age-categories allows runners to gauge their efforts in this way.

Help Topic: Race Settings

This help article will cover the Race Settings that can be found on your dashboard under Manage Race > Race Settings

How to Organize a Jingle Bell Run or Turkey Trot

The holidays are upon us whether we are ready or not! Retailers have had their Halloween products out for a while now and we even saw some Christmas items already. We are not being Scrooge, we love the holiday season here at RaceDirector! Getting in the spirit of things as an RD with a holiday-themed race may not only make you jolly, but if done right it can become the event of the season in your running community.

Benefits of Creating a Race Booklet for Your Event

What you get in swag bags at running events can vary widely. If you are paying a premium price at a higher profile event, then your expectations may be a bit different than if you are participating in a local 5K benefiting the school's PTO. No matter where your race falls in this spectrum, implementing the idea of creating a Race Booklet can benefit any event.

Safety Concerns Every Race Director Should Consider

Safety first is a phrase we hear all the time. When it comes to putting on any kind of public event, the organizers have a duty and obligation to minimize the potential for injury or harm to all participants and spectators. Here are some special safety considerations that running events present.

Which Day is Better for My Race? Saturday or Sunday?

Deciding which day will yield the best participation for your event is one of many important decisions you have to make. This question is not as simple as it seems, and there are a myriad of variables to consider. In this article, we will give you some things to think about to make the best decision for your race.

How to Maximize Efficiency at Aid Stations During Your Race

Aid stations at a race are one of those things that no one especially notices or talks about if you get it right, but if you run out of ice or any other essentials then people in China are going to hear all about it. Not only do you need to have the right supplies, but you also need a solid game plan for executing each aid station.

Post-Race Surveys: Go From Good to Great!

We all need constructive feedback to improve and get better. At RaceDirector, we are in the process of creating a survey right now. That got us thinking, every race should always have a post-race survey. As we worked to craft our customer survey, we thought it might be helpful to share some tips on how to properly construct your survey to get the feedback you need.

Turn Your Event into a Runcation

Having solid local participation and support for your race is important. At RaceDirector, we know you need the local running community to support your event. Not only are these people your participants, but they are also the business owners who may provide sponsorship or be your volunteer base. Maybe the way to grow your event and have it stand out is to broaden the geographic appeal and look for an opportunity to turn your event into a runcation.

Social Media 101 for Race Directors

Many people today have a love-hate relationship with social media. Even if you mostly fall on the hate side of that equation, you should still create some proper exposure and engagement to ensure you are reaching your targeted audience. Today, we will help you navigate the fast moving water that is Social Media.

Utilizing Ambassadors and Referrals to Drive Race Registration

You work hard to create a great event that stands out in a crowded calendar of races and other events. The job of promoting your event means finding a way to be heard in the noisy space of websites, social media, and other communication channels. You should definitely cover all your bases and do some or all of these things. An avenue you may not have considered is the use of Ambassadors and Referrals.

What Type of Race Bib Should I Use?

When putting on a race, there are hundreds of decisions to be made along the way. Some are necessary and fairly insignificant. Others can be very impactful and directly affect the experience of your participants. Each runner will hold your bib in their hand and pin it to their shirt on race day. In the RaceDirector blog today, we will give you some tips on how to choose wisely.

Music at Your Event: Do You Need a License?

Music is a big part of creating a festive scene at the start/finish of any race or event. Most of us have hundreds if not thousands of songs on our iPods or phones that we have purchased on iTunes or other services. If you have been just plugging your device into the PA system and blasting your carefully crafted and curated playlist from your collection, then you are most likely in violation of copyright law. At RaceDirector we do not want to have to help anyone with an attorney referral, so here is how to be legit.

Adding Distance Options to Your Existing Event Could Be a No-Brainer

At RaceDirector we know how much work goes into putting on a running event. A race that looks pretty simple and straightforward still involves careful attention to a multitude of details the average participants will never know about. Now that you have all this in place, you may be able to add another distance to your event with minimal effort.

QR Code Participant Check-in: New to RaceDirector

We are all used to seeing UPC bar codes on products for quite some time now. Grocery stores have even put us to work scanning them in self-checkout lanes. So what are these new-fangled QR codes, and how can they help you when organizing and managing your next event in a more efficient manner?

Go Green! Make Your Race More Environmentally Friendly

Being more environmentally conscious is a big trend right now. Trendy or not, at RaceDirector we think being a good steward of our environment and natural resources is just the right thing to do. Read today's blog post for ideas and tips on how to be a part of the solution.

Preparing Your Race Website

Just a few short years ago you would need some decent HTML programming skills to build your race website and create the content and images. Today, it is a fairly simple process that just about anyone can do easily.

What Type of Race Timing System Do I Need for My Event?

Timing and recording results for races and other events have come a long way from the days of a hand-held stopwatch and clipboard. Deploying technology for your event may be exactly what you need, but for some races a simple, low-tech option might get the job done just as well.

Choosing a Route for Your Running Event

There are a multitude of things to think about and decisions to make when creating a successful running event. At RaceDirector, we think you should start by carefully contemplating the course you choose. Here are some of the key areas to think about.

Does Your Race Make an Economic Impact?

Many communities are very dependent on the revenue generated by travel and tourism. Some communities do a better job than others at promoting their area and the natural resources and events that take place throughout the year. Chances are your race could be one of those events that make a positive blip on that radar.

Race Insurance and Event Waivers

At Race Director, we are all about helping you put all your ducks in a row. An important part of that is putting in place all the proper protections for your event. You work hard to create safety for your runners on the course, have the necessary medical on hand just in case, and all the other details that are part of a well-run and successful event. Event insurance is the final safety net in place for all the other unforeseen circumstances that we all hope never come to pass.

How to Build Up Excitement for Your Race

Building excitement for your race is an important part of marketing your event to your community, and creating interest and buzz in your event. There are so many events competing for the same participants these days that you must have a strategy to stand out in the crowd. At RaceDirector, we know how hard you work behind the scenes to put on a high quality event and make sure all the important details are handled. To do this effectively, you need to beat your own drum a bit.

Keeping Your Race Organized with Budgeting and Checklists

Sometimes putting on a race feels like a complicated undertaking. When Kennedy announced the audacious goal of putting a man on the moon, it was a very complicated undertaking on a very aggressive timeline. We are not saying that a local 5k is as challenging as a moon shot, but they both do involve budgets, checklist, and timelines.

Sponsorships: Just Do It!

We are not even going to mention the company by name we are alluding to in the title of this article. There is no need to do so. An overwhelming majority of the 7 billion+ people on the planet will know who we are referring to if we also included their logo. How about the company with the logo that is a piece of fruit? Marketing is an essential part of any successful business. Sponsorship of athletes, events, venues, etc is a great way for a company to create awareness about their products or services.

Race Swag: Expense or Opportunity?

Most participants these days have come to expect some kind of race swag when they enter an event. In a sea full of events to choose from, many people will select a race based on how they might covet a certain finisher's medal, a great race shirt, or other piece of swag that will become a keepsake to remind them of something they worked hard to be able to complete.

Enhanced Volunteer Communication & Registration Exports

This week, RaceDirector has a few technical updates to pass along. It is all about continuous improvement, but we will not bore you with the technical gyrations we had to perform to create these. Read on to find out how export functionality has been expanded, and volunteer communications has become even more streamlined.

Budgeting for Your Race: Common Expenses

If you are in the planning stages of a first year event, then this article on planning and budgeting for common race expenses may be useful. At RaceDirector we want to help you build the foundation for a great event. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should help get all the right wheels turning in your head.

Key Elements of Organizing a Charity Race

Not only are people looking to have fun while staying fit, but they also want to support a good cause. In this post, we will cover some of the solid fundamentals of creating a successful Charity Race that your community will want to support for years to come.

Top Ten Running Motivation and Race Videos

There are so many great running or race videos. This is by no means the definitive list of all lists regarding running or race videos. At RaceDirector, we wanted to share this article with you to make a specific point: Video is a powerful medium for communicating with your audience.

Color Your Race Green!

If your organization only puts on one event each year, or you have aspirations for a full calendar of well-attended events, the founders of The Color Run have created a scalable methodology that you should take a look at for inspiration.

Free Race Registration for Fun Runs & No-Cost Charity Events

At RaceDirector we like things simple and straightforward. How about this: There is no cost to you if you do not charge for registration. That could be with the use of a promo code, no-entry fee event, etc. Read more to see all the ways some or all of your registrants may not cost you a dime to use our platform.

Common Race Volunteer Positions

A good race director relies on volunteers to help execute a successful race. Here are 9 common volunteer tasks that you may need covered at your next race.

RaceDirector Launches Race Fundraising Pages

We are huge fans of simplicity and scale. That’s why we love fundraising through charity races, where each participant becomes another opportunity to attract additional donors through a new network of friends, family, and colleagues. This is exactly what we set out to accomplish with the launch of our new fundraising functionality.

Using Video to Market your Next Race

Video is the king on the internet when it comes to user engagement. When used effectively, video can benefit your online marketing efforts, sales, and branding of your race. Just as race photos are important to marketing your race for years to come, video can be even more effective.

RaceDirector’s Network and Infrastructure Expansion

This week, we migrated our infrastructure to allow for essentially unlimited growth and scale, with an emphasis on availability. These aren't always the most exciting posts, so we'll keep it brief and try to keep the nerd jargon to a minimum.

How To Attract Race Sponsors

An important part of covering expenses on race day is attracting enough race sponsors. For a new, or smaller race, that’s not always overly simple though. Today we’ll go over some ideas for helping you attract sponsors to your race of any size.

How to Find and Attract Race Volunteers

Having enough volunteers is critical to the success of any race. However, it’s not always easy finding volunteers to give up their time on the weekend, so we’ve put together a few suggestions to help find and attract race volunteers.

Marketing Your Race on Facebook

Facebook offers huge scale and tightly focused targeting like few other marketing platforms. Today, we'll discuss some tips for helping you get the most from Facebook when marketing your race, without spending a penny.