This is the first in a series of interviews of Race Directors who work with Tribute Sport for their awards. Working with Race Directors over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two. Mostly that Race Directors (marathon, triathlon, cycling – any event!) work their tails off! I set out to find out why, what motivates them, and how they go about their work.
Enter triathlon race director, Richard Langdon, Owner of Questor Multisport in Greenville South Carolina. We’re really excited for the upcoming Bone Island Triathlon in January 2013, Key West, FL. This inaugural triathlon will be both full iron triathlon and half. Click the link above to join them on Facebook. Course maps are already up. Here is a link to the race website: Bone Island Triathlon. And now, the interview:
How/why did you decide to become a race director?
As a beginner triathlete, my wife and I realized that the development we lived in would be perfect for a sprint tri. After a few phone calls, before we knew it, we had become race directors. Races don’t happen by the actions of one person, it takes a team to make them a reality.
What is your favorite part of your job as a race director?
Hands-down, my favorite part is seeing the smiles and fulfillment in the faces of participants and volunteers. The same things that bring me joy when I am able to participate in a triathlon myself. People get a sense of accomplishment out of triathlon and that is what I truly enjoy – crossing the finish line and sharing experiences. And, of course, when participants have positive feedback and enjoyed the event.
Any “little known fact” about what Race Directors do?
There are so many things but the main thing I’d like to mention is: The people who put races together, give back! They take on responsibilities to promote a sport they love. Race directors are diplomats for their sport, project managers and (dare I say) evangelists for their sport. Most of the people I work with, even the athletes, say that they didn’t realize all of the details that Race directors deal with, and even the volunteer work that goes into creating an event.
Tell us your least favorite part of being a Race Director?
When an athlete has a bad experience. If even one person is upset about even the smallest detail, I find myself unhappy until I am reminded that we did an overall good job.
Are finisher medals important to your finishers? How do you decide what to give athletes?
When my wife completed her first Ironman race there was a level of personal accomplishment that our whole family experienced. Just as with her first sprint race. Only this time as a family that had supported her for nine months of training and sacrifice. The family was a part of the effort. It takes a village to support the athlete. We realized that the finisher’s medal is something that becomes an icon in the home of the athlete. My children and I show off my wife, Joanna’s, Ironman Louisville finisher medal – as if we’d run it ourselves! We want medals and trophies for our events to be very special. We know what it means to them!
How do Race Directors settle on awards design? I’ve seen great, not so great and everything in between. How do you know you’ve got a “winner”?
We love working with a company that has a sense of creativity and pride in their product. We do not want to order something out of a catalogue. We want to iterate over a design until we say: That is the one!
Click here to find out more about Bone Island Triathlon 2013, in beautiful Key West Florida!
Check out Tri the Midlands 2012 at scenic Lake Carolina in SC!