Coffee Talk - Challenges of club run races

Few days ago we got a plea from the Longmont Criterium asking for volunteers

Our race is fast approaching and we are still in need of a few volunteers to serve as course marshals on race day.

For each marshal shift of approximately 3 hours completed by a volunteer, a free registration is provided to enter one of the race events at the Longmont Criterium.

This is a fun opportunity to see exciting racing action, help out the local racing community, and get a free race entry! Lunch and refreshments are provided to each volunteer.

Please contact Annie at abrowncolo@msn.com for more details.

Then not so long ago the word got out that the Haystack TTT/TT got canceled, assumed to have been due to lack of volunteers. On that same page there was a lot of discussion about why such a large event as the Haystack TTT/TT could fall into cancellation. Some claimed that a simple call for volunteers could have saved it. The Longmont Criterium needs your help, will we save it?

Promoting a race is hard work/business
It's not getting easier to put on a race these days, all costs are going up, logistics can be a nightmare for a larger event and getting the help seems to be the scare resource many are looking for. Is the role of race promotion best fit with the mission of cycling clubs/teams?. Some clubs who do still run large events, have a paid staff to manage the successful execution of the event or "that 1 person" who's done it so long they hold all of the knowledge. Is that "the way of the future" for anything beyond an office park crit? But even a skilled or paid staff will not fill the void of volunteers needed for race day, does that mean increase of entry fees and less dependance on free help?

Related
- Cost of promoting a race This is from 4 years ago and was a basic event

News Item: 

28 Comments

List of the lame

BRAC needs to reinstitute the $500 penalty for clubs who are not promoting or helping to promote/marshal a race. I personally think the penalty should be $1000. I hear the excuse that a lot of clubs are planning to do something for the CX season. That's BS. If you ask BRAC for a list of clubs in bad standing. Wait here it is (see below). You will quickly realize that the spirit of being part of racing, BRAC membership and belonging to a club has lost the responsibility of showing up to support racing. These clubs need a bigger penalty than losing their BAR/BAAT points which most are not in contention anyway. Again $1000 or help to promote/ marshal a race you lazy sacks.

Alexander Dawson School
Alpha Bicycle Co-Vista Subaru
Boulder Chaos
Boulder Dental Arts/Flaxen Design
Boulder Orthopedics
Colorado Riders Club
Cross Propz Racing
DBC Events
Denver 38 Racing
Element Seven 9
Evol Elite Racing
Excel Sports Boulder
Feedback Sports Racing
Fort Collins Cycling Team
Fort Follies
Foxtrot Racing
Front Rangers Cycling Club
Groove Subaru Excel Sports
High Peaks Masters
Lee's Cyclery-Trek Factory
Panorak Racing
Primal-Audi Denver
Rage Cycling Team
RITTE/Sports Garage Racing
RLW Cycling Team
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers Cycling Team
Simple Racing
Southern Colorado Velo
Sports Optical Racing Team
St. Vrain Velo
Stages Cycling
Team Body Sync
Team Primal Racing
Team Rio Grande
Team Small Batch
TLR Cycling
Tough Girl Cycling

VOLO Cycling p/b RMSS

Agreef

Agreed! Clubs need to start supporting their own sport. If people don't want to volunteer, then don't join a club. If clubs want to be part of the local cycling scene, they should support racing by either volunteering or paying a fine.

To be douchier about this in

To be douchier about this in my opinion, there's too many midweek races, too many categories, the season starts too early, and the only reason cross is so popular here is the weather is too nice. If we had "cross weather" (rain and general crap), the fields would very small. And to incite a riot, racing in Colorado has become a participation event and has lost its racing spirit. A 35+ cat 4, 5 BAR, State Championship? Really?
There's so many frigging categories that the P12 crit race times have been whittled down to the bare minimum or 5 minutes less.
I have no problem with Cross. Where else can a terminal Road Cat 4 become a 2?

Cross participation wanes as

Cross participation wanes as the season goes on, but it's not really possible to conclude that it's more related to the onset of bad weather or just general burnout/loss of interest following the early season dirt crits. Unless we were start cross season with crap weather from the get go, it's not safe to assume the numbers would be that low.

I agree the season starts too early, though many early races are canceled due to weather. I also absolutely agree with the comments re: too many fields and the dilution of the racing spirit.

As for your final comment, you're on the verge of exposing your bias. Can you name even one perennial road cat 4 who's a cross cat 2?

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