if I was a race director

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good race lately. I love the chilled out supportive atmosphere of ultras, but also some of the extra gimmicks of big city 10ks. So, if I planned a race this is what it would include:

1. A PB bell

You know that feeling when you cross the finish line with your arms in the air after getting that sought after PB? What if right before you get your medal there’s a bell there to ring away signalling you got your PB! I’d love to give it a ring and as a spectator I’d love to lead the cheers every time I heard it rung!


2. My race time on a clock

I may not be setting world records, but a picture of me and my race time (flag included at your own preference) would be ace. Some sort of programmable clock where I can type in my time, grab a photo, and post it to instagram immediately would be a great addition to my post-race glow.

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day Two 10007538_10151933305776571_5446748938124030466_n

3. Drinks & Cake

Goes without saying really, but races do a good job of providing nutrition on the course, what’s an extra table at the end going to hurt?


4. Crowns

Medals are great, and there is nothing like wearing it to the cafe/pub afterwards to subtly show everyone why you’re wearing a soaking wet shirt and have hair poking out of dozens of bobby pins while gagging for a cappuccino. But just imagine getting a CROWN at the end of a race? I’d wear that everywhere for at least a week after the race and act totally surprised when people ask me what it’s for. “Crown?” *looks up* “Oh this thing? I ran a 10k last Saturday, you know…”


5. Surprise age groups

In races there is usually an overall winner, and then winners of age groups. It’s all kinds of awesome when you realize you’re 1 out of 3 in your age group and basically guaranteed a podium (aka bottle of wine in most local races) but as you get older those youngens at the bottom of your age group seem to win all the prizes. At my races the age categories would be decided by the draw of a hat.

“And the winner for the Female under 27 and 3 months is…. YOU!”

Plus, if you’re not there to claim your prize the wine goes to the first person who is willing to open it and drink it on the spot (sharing allowed).


 6. THE starter gun

My friend Simon tweeted about this today. A real life Olympic starting gun. What better way to start every race the same way that Usain Bolt starts his world record 100m races?


7. Best friends 4eva relay medals

A few of my friends have recently done marathon relays where they form teams and each run 10-20 km of the marathon course and complete the last 100m all together. It’s a fun way to be involved in the marathon even if you aren’t quite up to running the full thing. That said at the end of these relay marathons the teams get the same medals as those who ran the full marathon.  I think there is room for improvement here and all relay runners should get a BFF 4EVA medal that fits together to form a whole marathon medal. Like below.  How cool would it be to always be able to “fit” your medal in with some elses?




7 thoughts on “if I was a race director

  1. charliezbrown

    I 100% agree with all that is said here! Particularly the crown!!!!. If you ever hold a race I would definitely help in anyway possible and I would 100% take part! Ha!

  2. rundontrun

    Could you insist on random doping tests as well? I think it would be great to insist on these out of the blue at parkrun. You could have little icons next to the online results for “industrial levels of beetroot juice” or “obviously in a lock-in the night before”

    1. kathleen

      Marshals to wear those comedy hand type things to point where you are meant to go just in case anyone has a dizzy moment and goes the wrong way? And feather boas to go with the crowns?


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