Communication with Fellow Race Directors

This is a funny time of year from a planning standpoint. We still have seven GLIRC major events coming up from October through December, but we have to spend an awful lot of time and energy focusing on 2020. Unlike many race management organizations, Winter is not really a down time for us. Two of our bigger events – the Sayville Running Company 10 Mile Run to the Blue Point Brewery and the Mardi Gras Run at the Great South Bay Brewery – take place near the start of the year, our increasingly popular Icebreaker Marathon and Half Marathon are in between the two Brewery Runs, and the Caumsett 50K Championship/25K Runs are held on March 1st. For most dedicated runners, running is a 12 months a year proposition, and so it is for the GLIRC management team.

Interestingly enough, however, GLIRC has no races scheduled for April of 2020. We go out of our way to avoid conflicts with other large events, so we have scheduled the 2020 Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care Aspire 10 Kilometer Run for March 28th to accommodate Nancy Rettaliata and our other friends from the Patchogue YMCA, whose race will take place on April 4th. Similarly, the Lazer, Aptheker, Rosella & Yedid 15K Run will be held on March 14th to avoid a conflict with the Smithtown Rotary and Huntington Townwide Fund St. Patrick’s Day Runs which are planned for March 21st.

There are way too many conflicts on the Long Island racing calendar, and every Race Director, every organization that is hosting a running event, should be attentive of the need to minimize conflicts. (Arguably it can be said that there are way too many races, period, on Long Island, but that’s a discussion for another day). Some conflicts are unavoidable, but other situations could be worked out so as to avoid conflicts if only the Race Directors involved would talk to each other. Enlightened self interest should make this kind of thing obvious. When two races in neighboring or nearby communities are scheduled for the same date, both races are hurt by this kind of mutual cannibalization of prospective registrants, and neither Race Director can figure out why only 100 people registered for his or her race. That being said, I can think of at least three weekends in 2019 when two races were on the same date, at the same distance, and within a couple of miles of each other. Folks, talk to each other!!!!

We all use the phrase “Long Island running community” fairly often. But in a true community of interest, friends and neighbors are talking to each other all the time. People and organizations that are staging races. GLIRC tries to be something of a clearinghouse for information of this sort, but we can only do so to the extent that information is communicated to us.

In scheduling races, as well as in most other aspects of planning, the key words are indeed “Folks, talk to each other.” That’s a lesson, not only for Race Directors, but for everyone who truly wants the Long Island running community to be the best that it can be.

See you on the roads and the trails...and at the races.

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