Spotlight: Around the Crown 10K

If you’ve been following the podcast for a while, you’ll know that what we try to do at Head Start is bring you actionable, expert advice you can learn from to grow and improve your race - hopefully, with a bit of entertainment on the side.

Today marks the first episode in a new way of helping you on your race director journey. Spotlight is a new type of episode where we go inside some of the most innovative, best run races and race concepts to learn how the things we touch on in other episodes, like building a sponsorship portfolio, developing a grassroots marketing strategy or elevating the race experience, actually work in practice when executed by some of the brightest leaders in the industry.

And in our first Spotlight episode, we travel to Charlotte, NC to see how race director Brian Mister has been re-imagining the urban 10K with his hugely successful Around the Crown 10K. In the short history of that event, Brian and his team have managed to build an event that is a masterclass in community engagement, practical inclusivity, sponsorship development and grassroots marketing. And I hope you’ll be as inspired by some of the initiatives undertaken by this amazing race as I have been getting to know more about it.

In this episode:

  • Putting on a race on the Charlotte inner beltway
  • Defining your mission statement - and staying true to it for the long run
  • Practical inclusivity: making your start line look like your community 
  • ATC's First Timers Club, Pay What You Can, Stroller Division
  • Running a large paper-cupless road race
  • Rethinking offline marketing
  • Engaging a specialist marketing agency that understands running
  • The importance of Public Relations (PR)
  • Growing a diverse sponsorship portfolio 
  • Valuing in-kind sponsorships
  • Auction-based marketing (made the term up, but it's an interesting concept)
  • The future of ATC10K

Thanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit

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