Summary and Lessons Learned
We covered many aspects of planning a trail race in the first four parts of this series. It is almost certain that some things were missed. The lesson there is that something will most certainly get missed along the way while you are planning your race. The perfect race day you have imagined does not exist. An aid station may run out of candy before the last runners pass. You may have a late start to the race. You may even have a communications problem that plagues your best-planned intentions. In my race, the food preparers cut up 40 potatoes and left them in bowls in my refrigerator, which is exactly where they still were on race day.
The most important lesson I learned as a first time race director is to put forth your best effort and show up on race day with enthusiasm and excitement. The runners will remember that and they will remember the people who helped them at aid stations throughout the race.
If you follow the steps in this series of articles that is great. But remember to show up on race day with a smile and instruct your volunteers to do the same. Any minor race snafu will likely be overlooked and the runners will get the only things most of them want anyway—a memorable and fun race.