Most race directors don’t consider themselves small business owners despite having a product (the race) and customers (the participants). As competition continues to mount in the race production world, so too do the expectations of participants.

Race ‘A’ for example used to offer a long sleeve technical shirt and a finishing time for $25. Race ‘B’ arrives on the scene and decides to offer a long sleeve technical shirt, a finishing time, and a medal big enough to serve dinner on for $25. Race ‘B’ has all of a sudden increased the potential participant’s expectations.

All that being said, race directors must ensure they have the basics covered before delving into the upscale amenities listed below.

The Basics

– Certified Course
– Charity
– Emergency Response Team
– Finish Clock
– Garbage Cans
– Portable Toilets WITH toilet paper
–  Post-race Food
– Race Shirt
– Timing
– Traffic Marshals
– Volunteers
– Water Stations

Upscale Amenities

– Bands
– Cheerleaders
– Chip Timing
– Corporate Challenge
– Health & Wellness Expo
– Lead Vehicle
– Mile Markers
– Medals
– Parking
– Race Emcee
– Recycle Bins
– Sponge Station
– Technical Race Shirt

Download: Preparing for Race Day 12 Months Out


Brandon Laan

Brandon is a dad, runner, race director and endurance industry specialist. He spends the majority of his time coaching the sales team at Race Roster while co-directing The Rock The Road 10K. He spent his undergraduate days at Western University before fleeing to Hawaii Pacific University for graduate school. He recently pushed his twin girls, Emma and Sydney to a 1:14 half marathon and is a former winner of The GoodLife Toronto Marathon and Silver Medalist at The Canadian Marathon Championships.