“The goal of Race Promotion is to build races. So why is it so hard to remember how to build the same race twice?”

The short answer is you don’t.

If you’re planning your first race but you don’t know what comes next, you’ve come to the right place.

Chances are you have some idea on how to put a race together, but don’t have anything that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to build it and be successful.

This is the difficulty of outdoor race promotion.

We all have to start somewhere, it’s just trying to figure out what or where that somewhere is.

Unfortunately, most race promoters start by winging it.

They think they have it all figured out, only to discover all the pitfalls and gotchas when it’s too late to change direction.

Learning race promotion via trial and error is why so many forget which critical steps to focus on when they go to build their next race.

Mostly because they have nothing written down or lack a way to share the process with anyone else.

It’s hard to share something that you only have in your head.

And a process that cannot be shared is a process that is impossible to repeat.

In all my years of race promoting this is the one secret I wished other race promoters had shared with me: you can only have success if you can repeat and share your process with your team.

Only, race promoters don’t like to share anything with anyone.

That’s why I set out to change that way of think and created something any outdoor race promoter can use to build a race.

The Roadmap

I call it my roadmap.

I think if you are going to make a measurable dent in your bottom line then you need to stop making it up as you go and start designing a process that you can repeat.

My roadmap is that process in graphic form that includes the 50 lessons learned from building races, messing up, and figuring it out.

I understand better than anyone how it feels to build a race by yourself.

Building your first race is a daunting endeavor that few will help you achieve.

However, with your own step-by-step instructions in your back pocket, you can pull it all together and more importantly, share it with others.

The simplicity of a roadmap is that it shows you what’s next.

It points out all the necessary processes, timelines, and risks you need to consider each time you put on a race.

The best part is that it frees your brain up for other things.

Of course, it’s my way of building a race. Your way might be different and that’s okay.

This roadmap is not set in stone but a guide towards building better races.

Some of it might not apply to your race discipline or style.

However, I have a feeling that most of it will give you enough of a head start to figure out the niche points yourself.

It is time to stop worrying about what comes next and start feeling the excitement about the start of your first race.

I hope this roadmap helps you build better races!

The Roadmap in Action

My roadmap lays out a simple framework for planning, promoting, and directing your first race:

  • Start: This is where your race building journey begins.
  • Decide: Once you’ve found your first steps, it’s time to decide on your Mission.
  • Plan: It’s time to start planning what your first race will be.
  • Build: Now you need to transition from planning to putting your plan into action.
  • Promote: Begin selling your race, early and often.
  • Direct: Get your hands in the dirt and lead your race from start to finish.
  • Learn: Analyze your success with realistic race day measurements.
  • Grow: Decide what your results will lead you to build tomorrow.

Download the Race Promotion Roadmap PDF Now

Your Very Own Guide to Racing

My roadmap is the framework you need to build any race. You can use it as a guide to your next race, or download the roadmap and follow along with Merchants of Dirt Podcast Episode #50 where I go into detail on the 50 Lessons Learned from Being a Race Director:

More Articles on Race Planning

To enhance your experience, I curated my race promotion articles into a guide centered around the milestones and processes included in my free Race Promotion Roadmap. Now when you go through the Roadmap, you can find the articles that help you begin to understand which steps are important to your race’s overall success.

You start with a roadmap: Race promoters need everyone on the team to know the plan. If they don’t know how the plan fits into your overall strategy, it will fall apart. Explore why leveraging the techniques of documentation, consensus, and orchestration can help you develop repeatable processes essential to successful race planning.

Build your first race promotion roadmap: Before you can build a system of repeatable processes, you have to know what they are and write them down. You may know what each step of your plan is off the top of your head, but eventually, you will forget something. Learn how to build your first race promotion roadmap and avoid the pain of forgetting a critical step.

Why race location is more important than the race itself: The location of your race is often what attracts racers to show up. Picking a successful venue, however, requires you to investigate each choice with a critical eye. Learn what to look for in choosing a venue before you apply for your permission to use it.

7 venue areas that ever race needs: To make sure your customer flow makes sense, and everyone knows where to go, you need to have all the necessary areas in your venue layout thought out and in place. Learn how not to make your customers have to think about where they need to go.

Building a racecourse starts with a walk: Racecourse design requires you to have an intimate relationship with the land, and an understanding of what sections of the trail are good for racing. That means getting out into the wild and seeing things with your own two eyes. Learn what to look for when you in the field building a course.

Understanding race categories and classes: Your race needs to be organized into categories and classes so that you can spread out the love of being a winner to more racers. Explore the details of why this level of organization is important to your race’s success.

Get your next race permit approved: You have no legal permission to use a public venue without a permit. This single document unlocks access, resources, and liability protection for your entire race. Learn how to improve your permit submission process, and increase your chances for approval.

How to bounce back when everything goes wrong: There will come a day that you find yourself in a position all race directors dread — having to postpone a race just days before the event. Learn how to survive postponing your race before you’re forced to deal with it the hard way.

Now go build something great!

Posted by Kyle Bondo

Kyle started Reckoneer with the simple mission of helping those who want to become race directors and learn the mechanics of outdoor recreation engineering. Kyle demystifies outdoor racing with over 20 years of endurance and outdoor industry business knowledge. Combined with his top-rated podcast Merchants of Dirt, dozens of articles, lessons, and infographics, Kyle has made Reckoneer the premier educator in outdoor event management. Build better races today!