The 2011 USA Triathlon (USAT) Race Director Symposium concluded on Saturday afternoon at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs after two days packed with educational programming and networking for certified race directors.
Following the annual early morning fun run, attendees were given the opportunity to choose between informational breakout sessions.
While some chose to sit in on a three-part session on how to grow their events, Dennis Frare of the Disney Institute took to the stage to talk about exceeding expectations when hosting athletes and volunteers at an event.
First-time symposium attendee Robert Jackson of Portland, Oregon, particularly enjoyed Frare’s presentations. “He’s charismatic, he gets his point across, he’s funny and he’s serious when he needs to be. It was well done overall.”
“I feel like I got thousands of dollars of education for a few hundred bucks,” added Patty Swedberg of Seattle, Washington. This year’s symposium was also a first for Swedberg, who has been a certified race director for only five months.
In a fast-growing sport that requires attention to detail, Swedberg felt the conference was a great eye-opener for new race directors.
“For me, it was the recognition that I needed to put more processes in place as far as how I take care of my staff and my volunteers. You could say I thought I was doing a lot of things really well, and it’s given me perspective that maybe [I was] doing okay in some areas but we can definitely improve in others.”
The overall theme of this year’s symposium was communication and building relationships. During the afternoon presentation on hosting a race for a cause, Half Full Triathlon Race Director Brian Satola said, “It’s not about the race … It’s about bringing people together.”
Many in attendance were grateful for a chance to network with race directors from across the country and learn from those with different ideas and more experience.
“I think the best part is the opportunity to talk to people who do this every weekend,” added Jackson, who will be producing one race this year.
“Some of these people are doing this every weekend and have a staff of 15 or more that are helping them.”
The weekend’s festivities closed with the induction of the third class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
Nearly 200 friends, family members and multisport dignitaries gathered in what inductee Susan Bradley-Cox labelled “a celebration of a spirit and a sport that has brought us all together.”
The Hall of Fame event honoured Bradley-Cox, arguably the world’s most decorated age group triathlete, highly regarded race director Dave McGillivray and six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott at the Colorado Springs resort.