This Girl Can Organise a Race

My volunteer role at the running club as you may have read is Race Secretary.

This involves arranging a Grand Prix competition for club members and an annual ELVIS race that is open to all the clubs in the area not just in house.

The GP was underway with the first race at Hatfield.

The thing that was taking up time and energy was organising the race. Until doing this role I never knew what went into organising a race. This race although low key and off the streets involves just over 6 months of planning, course measurements, licences, council conversations and paperwork, looking at first aid, setting up an on line booking system, costings etc.

It is key that everything is in place before the event, nothing goes wrong on the actual day and the tie up after the race is cleared up with queries resolved, results processed and verified.

Although stressful, because of my organisation skills, OCD and eye for detail I cover every eventuality. I also looked at other races to see what worked well and what could be better and learn from previous mistakes.

This year I knew that I had to control everything, too many cooks would mean lots of last minute adjustments or people assuming someone else was completing a task. Unacceptable.

Every detail within my control was looked at. Placing strong marshals at key points, writing out my timetable of events and keeping notes about where I was on this project.

Tuesday dawned, the weather was not in my control and it was pouring down. I was at work worrying about conditions.

By the time I got to the park the rain had almosted ceased but the wind was making for blustery conditions.

Most of my marshals arrived on time and I was blessed that have so many offers of help which meant I had people who knew what it was like to run, marshal this event for runners. I had given each volunteer a pack with what the race entailed, where they were meant to be and clear instructions on what they had to do.  They were my trusted high viz crew!

Making my voice heard


I had arranged for fruit and water at the end of the race and the chip timing company had offered to print individual results as they crossed the finish line so runners could eat healthy and review their times.

First aid was an ambulance staffed with 4 volunteers, you hope they will never be used but unfortunately this year as in previous years they were. One of my good running friends collapsed on the course, thank goodness for first aid!

Team photos taken by all the clubs. The weather broke and sun was out.

Team blue and yellow, I had no energy to stand!

I had my briefing and all too soon it was time for me to stand in from of 300 people, introduce myself and explain details of the race, nerve wracking to say the least.

A 3,2,1 and they were off, the front runners super fast and on schedule to finish around the 30 minute mark with the slower runners finishing up to half an hour after them. I had the chance I cheer some of my pals on.

A quick look around, people seemed to be ok. My pal had been sent to the ambulance and I was very concerned about her but she was in great hands.

Runners were coming in at the finish, the fruit was popular as was the timing tickets.

The final runner came through with one of my besties sweeping as his role as tail runner.

It was time for prize giving, once again my strong Essex tones swept across the park as I read out names.

Soon everything was packed up and I could finally relax. Everything seemed to go well, I was waiting for feedback and I still had to process the results but people seemed happy.

A trip to the pub for a celebration drink then home to bed to make up for the lack of sleep from the previous few nights.

Checking results and getting them verified took longer but the feedback was positive.

Although I had to do most of the work the race could not go ahead on the night without the fabulous volunteers that gave up their time to help myself and the club to hold such an event.

This girl can definitely host running events.


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