I have attended and run over 300 races and, for the most part, I have run the race and gotten my results and went home.   I have used certain strategies to park carefully so that I could leave early.    Some medals and shirts are better than others, some food sticks out at the end of the race and some weather has made me remember one race over another.  However, things that drive me crazy are things that are controllable but are not taken care of at the race in question!!  For instance, keeping the runners on the course and in the right direction to get to the finish is paramount – it is a pet peeve of mine to have runners go the wrong way.    I also want races to start on time and that are timed correctly.

There are many pieces to race directing that runners don’t see.  The list of things to do is pretty extensive and some of the main points are as follows:

  1. Work with the location you are holding the race for permission, police and ambulance
  2. Get insurance
  3. Get a good timing company if it is a timed race
  4. Make sure runners have good medals and shirts
  5. Have the right facilities and amenities needed to run the race

Each point can become a blog post on its own.  The key is that the race director takes note of what works for having a great race and what does not.   Every year is a learning process and helps you get better for the following year.  Hopefully there comes a time when the race almost runs itself.

When you need a race director, please make sure you have seen good results from them first.

Happy Running,

Coach Nick

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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