Starting Out as a Race Director

Looking into the business of putting on races from the outside, as a passionate runner and racer, you might be mistaken in thinking that putting on races is a fairly straightforward, relaxing, comfortably profitable thing to do. I can hear some of you chuckling there…

Well, my guests today, brothers Jeremy and William Fermo, are exactly the type of passionate runner that would try to make a business out of directing races. Which is why in late 2021, they put aside their medical degrees and took the plunge into planning their first race, Shannon’s Run in Orange, Texas.

Coming into race directing with few preconceptions, they tried everything to make their inaugural race a success - including an early round of crowdfunding for their business, 3 Bros Running, and a go at securing local business grants to support their revenue. 

The result? Not half bad - 366 signups from more than 40 cities across the state, and with that, a growing appetite for directing more and larger races.

If you’re just starting out as a race director, there’s valuable lessons here for you on the challenges and the joys you’ve got ahead of you, and the importance of focusing your planning on the things that matter. And, if you’re well into your long-term career as a race director, there’s a couple of interesting gold nuggets here for you as well - and perhaps a little nostalgia about why you went into this really special business in the first place.

In this episode:

  • Taking the plunge into race directing
  • The importance of focusing on the race experience
  • Launching a crowdfunding campaign to get the race off the ground
  • Going after local business grants 
  • Putting yourself front and center of your race brand
  • Telling your race story through video on social media
  • Promoting your race like it's a Hollywood movie
  • Reaching out and pitching to local sponsors
  • Big learnings from the guys' first year in race directing

Many thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:

RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. 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. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.

Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.

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