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

St. Vrain aka Blue Sky Velo

St. Vrain aka Blue Sky Velo puts in many hours hosting the Blue Sky Cup, and also helps out quite a bit with other races throughout the calendar. They do have a requirement for volunteering as well. The Blue Sky Cup isn't just put on them, several other clubs including Cross Propz and Rapid racing put in quite a few hours/days on that race and others. I've been the volunteer coordinator for the Blue Sky Cup for the last three years and it takes a ton of work to put these on.

Please don't be so quick to cast stones.

Dead or on Life Support

Posted on behalf of MMinSC:
Ever since the requirement for clubs to hold a race was eliminated, these types of races are either dead, or on life support. The only ones that are remotely successful in the Southeast are the races that have gone on for years, and in some cases, decades.

There are exceptions to the rule, but this largely holds true. Check the Spring NC/SC calendar. The races that appear are races that have taken place for years, and usually on the same weekend every year. And I'm loathe to say this, but some folks just won't bother with races from certain "promoters". One local "promoter" in SC flatly refuses to give free entry to his races for those who volunteer, and attendance at his races suffers for it.

Instead, we do a big, jovial dirt ride on CX bikes. There are quick sections, and a few sprints thrown in for good measure, but the ride stays together, and fosters a bigger sense of community. And it's always fun...you know...like riding a bike should be.

Two points... Most "private

Two points... Most "private entities" apparently can't make enough money for very many events to be worth their time and effort and I'm sure Team Evergreen appreciates your support putting on a "lame event" like the Mt. Evans Hill Climb. I'll be sure to thank them a little extra this weekend.

I agree 100%.

Post for Andy Bohlmann due to Spam Filter

I agree 100%.

Not being 100% (anymore) up to date on USAC rules, it used be be a
requirement that a club, in order to get or maintain sponsorship, would have
to put on a race each year. Back "in the day" I had the programmer at USOC
do this so a club couldn't get a sponsor approved until this was met.

Currently, I do have two great local clubs Front Rangers and SoCo Velo
helping me.

I want nothing more than to do a road event of some type down here in Colo Sp
but the resources needed are so complex and expensive...and, I'm sort of
"retired."

We're all in this game together and we all need to make it work.

Today is my 99th race since leaving the USCF, (see ya, bye!). I'll have over
100 riders in Palmer Park and a dozen staff. We'll make the Gazette Sports
front page tomorrow and have first time riders to World cup racers on the
line. Nothing better than local racing, and I get to do an occasional UCI Pro
XTC race as well.

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