This is a quick rant about those race promoters, organizers, and directors that think they can build a race AND race in that same event.

You can’t!

Why not? I built it. Can’t I race it too?

NO! And I’ll tell you why.

Reason #1 — Who is in charge of your race?

If you’re out racing, who’s in charge?

Not you!

The race that you’re responsible for is missing it’s captain if you’re out on the course.

I know the pull of wanting to race with your friends can be strong, but you need to resist it.

Your race needs your direction.

It is your job to keep the race on track, maintain the schedule, and solve problems.

You can’t do that if you’re not there.

Reason #2 — That is your name, and your company’s name, on the permit and insurance policy, right?

The safety of your racers is your responsibility.

If you’re elsewhere, and something bad happens, how can you respond?

Worse yet, your insurance may not cover an accident if you’re negligent in overseeing events.

Being out on the course as a racer could put you and your company in a very bad situation.

Liability is no joke.

By taking part in your own race, an injury (or worse, a death) may be seen as gross negligence.

Don’t put yourself, or your livelihood — both business and personal — at risk.

Stay in charge and vigilant at all times.

Reason #3 — Do you really thing your part-time or volunteer staff can’t solve everything?

If you have a staff, and maybe an assistant race director, you might be able to get away with racing.

However, most race promoters don’t have an assistant anything.

Some barely have enough volunteers to cover every position.

If everyone covering for your while you’re out having fun is temporary help, who is representing your company, or your race?


No way!

Do not put your reputation at risk by leaving what amounts to strangers in charge of your race.

I’ve already pointed out how volunteers can be hurt your reputation (check out “The #1 reason volunteers can ruin your race“).

If you put one of them in charge of complaints, scheduling issues, or other conflicts, what do you expect them to do if they were never prepared for those situations?

All they can say is, “I will get the race director for you as soon as he/she comes off the course.”

Yeah, that will fly with a pissed off customer .

If you want to look completely unprofessional, disappear for an hour.

It won’t be the only thing that disappears.

You’re the leader of your race, so act like it!

The buck stops with you.

Your role is to lead.

Not just when you want to, and not just before or after you’ve raced your own course. But from the time you put your first arrow up, to the time you take your last bag of trash away.

You are the first one at the venue, and the last one to leave.

Always in charge, always vigilant, and always leading.

Do not put your event at risk by disappearing to race your own course. Save that for other the other races you go to as a racer.

You put your racers at risk when your neglect them for a quick bit of fun, and you put yourself at risk by delegate your responsibilities to others.

Stay focused, stay visible, and stay in charge at all times.

Your family, your business, your reputation, and even your livelihood depends on it.

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!