A race from a different perspective

Last Sunday, after weeks of planning, I officially donned my race director hat for the local 5k race and kids’ Fun Runs hosted by my sons’ school.

The start of one of the kids’ races

After being both a participant and spectator, it was such a different experience to view a race through race director “glasses.” Yes there were the annoying requests (Can’t we get an extra race shirt?”);  registration glitches (“We don’t have them on the list – they swear they paid!”), and volunteers who did not show up (“What do you mean we have no one directing the runners on Pleasant St?!”).

But as I watched the day unfold — watched each of the heats of the kids’ runs go off; medals hung around the necks of smiling faces; runners toe the line waiting for the 5k to start; and, stood along the street directing the runners, cheering and high-fiving them, before heading to the finish line to congratulate the winners and see the awards passed out — the joy (and relief) of seeing the day come together seriously outweighed any of the negatives.

Once the races were done, the awards given out, the raffles drawn and the cookout was done, our race committee was tired but feeling pretty good about how the day went overall. I think every runner should volunteer at race at least once. And, if you ever get the opportunity to be part of a race planning committee – take it! It will truly give you a whole new appreciation for the race experience.




  1. Good for you! I’ve volunteered but so far have not taken on any race director duties. Sounds like fun and successful day!

  2. Great job directing the race. I can only imagine the logistics involved. What a great picture of the kids’ race. Makes me smile to see kids outside doing things like this. I haven’t volunteered for a race yet, but need to get out and do it.

  3. Glad it all went off so well. It is a big project, that’s for sure. And I agree–everyone should volunteer at least once to see what all goes into making a race happen; it can make us all appreciate race directors and volunteers that much more.

  4. It’s interesting to hear the other side of the race. I recently worked at an expo where I got a new perspective and heard/saw some crazy things. As a runner, we kind of stay in the moment and don’t even think about what it takes to put it all together.

  5. I’m so glad it went off well!! I’m sure it is a completely different perspective!! I have been thinking about volunteering at a race here in a few weeks. It would be good for me to see it from the other side. I’m sure my silly complaints would be gone!!

  6. Volunteering is the best. You get an appreciation for how much goes into getting a race together.

  7. Yay that it was a success! Congrats. What a huge project and accomplishment. Are you going to do it again?

  8. Good job and congrats on a successful race!!! I can only imagine how stressful that was.

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