The Responsibility of a Race Director


If we agree that thare are tens of thousands of road races, cross country meets, track events held in this country each and every year. The LSB Chicago Marathon has put this issue into the news with the event from two weeks ago But what should a runner expect when they go to an event?

This coming weekend, October 21, I will be in San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon. I will be interviewing a few of the 20,000 women who will be running and walking the half marathon and marathon. This event is a celebration of women's running, and is the focus, as are races for these women's last six months of training.

When the athletes come here, they will expect a correct length of course, well personned water stations, enough water and sports drinks. The quality of the event is one of the parts of the puzzle that has drawn many to this race.

The growth of the LSB Chicago, one of the mega marathons in North America, over the past 30 years, has been because of the events' course, and the confidence that runners and walkers had that they would be treated well in Chicago and have a great
time at the race.

This year, the LSB race was cancelled, due to terribly hot conditions. I wrote a piece about the guts that Cary Pinkowski showed in cancelling the race, and I received many notes, half negative and half positive. The positive did state that the race needed to be cancelled with the conditions, but the complaints by runners over four and one half hours about lack of sports drinks continues to come up.

This was an extra ordinary event. The given is that many race directors were there, and will be reviewing how they deal with the extra ordinary. Race Directors, and race committees, by accepting money from runners, do agree to provide a basic service-a certified course, well run aid stations, a timely race, and a decent t shirt. But what else does a race have to provide?

I was at an ultra race in France, where over 2,500 people ran, nordic walked the 42 miles and there were three water stops and for six kilometers, runners ran with a cave light on their foreheads as they ran through mountain tunnels-what responsibility does the participant have?

I would like to open this to our readers to see what both runners and race directors think about this subject. Over this weekend, as I visit the Nike event, I will update
our readers on how Nike does this event.

Have a great weekend!

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