Bryn Mawr Racing’s Race Director FAQ’s

Bryn Mawr Racing Co. Sticker updated with correct site

Let’s this page be your guide to what we offer and what we recommend for proper race planning protocol. If you have a question beyond the scope of this page, please email or call us.

Pre-Race (Logistics and Marketing)

  1. Does Bryn Mawr Racing provide insurance?
  2. Does Bryn Mawr Racing assist in getting permits?
  3. What do I need to do to get an email blast sent out through Bryn Mawr Racing’s Contact list?
  4. How can I make sure that I get a better open rate on my email blast?
  5. Does Bryn Mawr Racing Co. offer packet pickup options?
  6. Why are my registration numbers so low?
  7. What type of awards should I offer?

Registration

  1. How doe we get started on registration?
  2. What should we charge for the race?
  3. For the flyers and registration, what should we use as our link?
  4. Is there a way to hide the registration fee for registrants?
  5. How should we handle manual registrations?
  6. Should I offer refunds to registrants who sign up but then can’t make it?
  7. What happens if we get more registrants than ordered t-shirts?
  8. How do I get a list of runners’ names, emails, amount paid, shirt size and event signed up for?
  9. When should I close registration and what is the auto-assign feature?

Race Day

  1. How many BMRC staff members will work my race?
  2. How should registration be set up?
  3. Will BMRC staff members train my volunteers for registration?
  4. How do we make sure the race course is marked well for all runners?
  5. What happens if the runners go the wrong way on the course?
  6. When should we announce awards?

Pre-Race (Logistics and Marketing)

1. Does Bryn Mawr Racing provide insurance?

We do not provide race day insurance beyond coverage of our equipment.  You can check with your local insurance agent or go to USATF’s website and get an estimate from them. They provide insurance for thousands of races a year. Another option is the Road Runners Club of America.  The one requirement is that your race has to be linked to a local running club.

http://www.usatf.org/membership/benefits/groupinsurance.asp

http://www.rrca.org/services/insurance/

2. Does Bryn Mawr Racing assist in getting permits?

We don’t have the manpower to get permits for a venue.  However we can assist in designing a race course once you find your venue and permission to run a race at that location. Please ask us and we’ll give you a few options on a course.

3. What do I need to do to get an email blast sent out through Bryn Mawr Racing’s Contact list?

First make sure to sign up for our marketing package or pay for the blast individually.

Second, send us content.  This includes: race amenities, pictures, perhaps a promotional code, etc. Try to make your email stand out so that the open and click rate is higher.

We’ll schedule it to go out and send back the email blast results.

4. How can I make sure that I get a better open rate on my email blast?

Have an engaging subject line better than 1/1/15- Ordinary 5K, No Where, PA.

Video and pictures that will engage the reader.

Think about how your race stands out.  For example, are you raising money for a unique charity?  Do you have some special post race events?

5. Does Bryn Mawr Racing Co. offer packet pickup options?

Bryn Mawr Running Co. stores offer free pre-race packet pickup. You can use any one of the stores (Bryn Mawr, Media, Emmaus and Nazareth) as your pre-race headquarters. Each runner who picks up their packet at the store will get exclusive coupons for store merchandise. Please note that the race director or race staff must run registration.  The store will provide space and a table.

6. Why are my registration numbers so low?

Getting a permit, finding a race site, and setting up online registration does not guarantee that runners will flock to your event.  There are so many races out there now and so much competition that your race needs to stand out from the rest.  Bryn Mawr Racing provide marketing services. These are tried and true ways of getting the word out. (See our services and rates document for details).  Being a race director is hard work, but if you follow our suggestions and execute, then you should reach your goal.  It is important that a race director/committee delegates of lot of these duties. Bryn Mawr has marketed races where the turnout was poor, but the main reason for this is that the race director did not try our suggestions.

7. What type of awards should I offer?

This is an opportunity where you can stand out from other races. Traditionally, races offer medals, trophies, cash or gift cards. There are many other ways of awarding runners for their efforts.  Google the best post race prizes and you’ll find interesting ideas.  Or brainstorm with your race committee and create something new.

Registration

1. How do we get started on registration?

First BMRC will email template(s) and a sample to use to fill out a race application. This will be used as a printable application that can be downloaded for registration purposes and for race day registration.

More importantly, it will help us and your race committee to answer the Who, When, Where, Why (very important one), and How (amenities, course, etc.) of your race.  This will help us to set up online registration very quickly.

Once we receive your race application, we usually can turn around and have online registration up in less than a few hours.

2. What should we charge for the race?

This depends on your budget.  Most races charge between $20-30 for a 5K, with prices increasing for longer distances.

We emphasize tier pricing where the price increases as you get closer to race day. The rationale is to give runners incentive to register early.

If you don’t tier your pricing and make registration the same price throughout race day, 2 situations may occur. 1) The weather is poor and no one shows up; or 2) you could get totally flooded with registrants and overwhelm your race day volunteers.  When registration gets backed up, you run the risk of starting your race late.

3. For the flyers and registration, what should we use as our link?

If you have your own race website, use that and have a link to registration on that page. This way you can keep all race details up to date and keep registrants aware of any changes.

If you don’t have your own race website, use www.brynmawrracing.com (click on ‘Race Calendar’). We’ll create a race landing page that has all details that you give us.

4. Is there a way to hide the registration fee for registrants?

  • Option 1- If your race is $25, and the registration fee is $2.50, you can absorb the cost.
  • Option 2- You can increase the price to $30, and absorb the cost and make an extra $2.50.
  • Option 3- Have the registrant pay the fee, making the cost $27.50.  We strongly encourage you to have a printable application on the race site as an alternative to online registration. There will be a few registrants who will not use online registration and will mail in their applications.

5. How should we handle manual registrations?

Go to runsignup.com and login.

Once in the dashboard, click on participants, then import.

We need these fields filled out: the registrant’s first name, last name, gender, event, t-shirt size, email, city and state. Any others are optional on your part.

If you have any trouble, we can walk you through it.

Of course you would keep these funds.  BMRC only holds funds of those who register online.

6. Should I offer refunds to registrants who sign up but then can’t make it?

We recommend not offering refunds. Almost all of the races we handle are for charities. If a person can’t make it, we always reply that the race is raising funds for ABC charity and they can look at it as a donation to that particular charity.

For the races that we direct, we always hold the t-shirt and make arrangements so that they can receive it and any other amenities offered.

If you do want to offer a refund, runsignup.com has a few ways of doing it.

First Method- We can help you set up a refund reserve. We set one up for one of our races in March, due to its dependency on a parade occurring. In the case of rain, we would need to postpone. So we set a refund reserve up so that the next $1,000 that comes in to runsignup.com goes into that account. The only inconvenience is that they hold that money over a week after your race is over.

Second Method- Race director uses a credit card to move funds to this reserve. We are not a fan of this one because there are multiple processing fees.

7. What happens if we get more registrants than ordered t-shirts?

Congratulations on exceeding your goal of expected registrants! There are a few options of what you can do.  Here is an example:

Let’s say a race director orders 200 t-shirts but they have an additional 50 registrants for a total of 250. When those 50 late registrants show up at the raceyour volunteers can tell them that they missed the cutoff for t-shirts.  The are 3 ways to handle this situation. 1. Turn off the giveaway option in runsignup, estimate a certain % of race day (on a nice day can be 20-30% of total registrations) and order extra shirts based on the ratio of Small, Medium, Large etc. that you have data on. 2. Tell them they can stop by registration after the race and take a shirt of a no show who preregistered before race day; or 3. they don’t get a shirt that day, but the race director will order more shirts and take their sizes. From our experience, you won’t get too many of your no-shows contacting you for their shirts.

8. How do I get a list of runners’ names, emails, amount paid, shirt size and event signed up for?
You can access this information on runsignup.com when you login. Go to participants, view participants, export options, download all as csv. You’ll download an excel/csv file that will give you all registration information needed.

9. When should I close registration and what is the auto-assign feature?
The nature of most races is that registrants will wait till the last minute to register. With that being said, the goal is to keep registration open as long as possible. If there is a packet pickup that week, we need to get your bibs and pins to you. The auto-assign feature in runsignup.com allows for people to register and get their bib number assignment online. This function will automatically assign bib numbers to participants as they register. This feature helps optimize your registration numbers in that last week! Race directors can access those recent registrants by simply looking them up through their phone.
For more info, please visit:
runsignup.com/How-To/Assign-Bibs-Chips

Race Day

1. How many BMRC staff members will work my race?

The majority of our races that we time under 500 people can be handled by 2 people.

For a pull tag race over 250 people, we sometimes need 3 people.  There is an additional charge for a 3rd person.  We are not fans of pull tagging races larger than this size (see services and rates document).

For a large chipped time race (>1000) we’ll usually send out at least 3 staff members to handle the large amount of race day registration data.

2. How should registration be set up?

This will be based on how large your race is. We’ll use an example of 150 people are preregistered:

  • The BMRC timing team will bring bibs in alphabetical order on race day (unless Race Director needs them in advance), we will put a label with the following on each bib: First Name, Last Name, Age, Gender and T-shirt size (if applicable) to distribute. If you have a bag with sponsor giveaways and t-shirt do not make extra work by putting the bib in a bag pre-race.  Just set up your bags so that they are separated by t-shirt size and use the bib label that we provide.
  • Have 2 members at one table for all preregistered runners (under 200 preregistered).  A sign dividing them up that has “A-L” and “M-Z” will be helpful in making 2 lines.
  • Day of registration- if there are 200 preregistered, let’s assume 20-25% will register that day. There should be a separate table so that we avoid long lines. Runners/walkers will fill out the application at the separate table then move into the day of registration line.  1-2 volunteers at that table will process those registrants.

3. Will BMRC staff members train my volunteers for registration?

Yes, we’ll train your volunteers on how to handle pre-registered runners and race day registration.  It’s a very simple process.

4. How do we make sure the race course is marked well for all runners?

BMRC can mark the course.  However, this is not the primary way runners should rely on running the correct direction. The most important part of course management are MARSHALS, MARSHALS, MARSHALS! They need to trained on the entire course with specifics about the intersection that they are working.  When picking marshals, we strongly recommend adults.  Kids often don’t pay attention, and they are not assertive enough when speaking to adults.

5. What happens if the runners go the wrong way on the course?

Did we mention marshals yet? One more suggestion is to have a lead bike or vehicle along with a sag wagon at the back.

6. When should we announce awards?

BMRC’s goal is to get the awards print out in your hands 45-50 minutes after the start of a typical 5K (a little longer for a 5 miler and so on). You should announce the awards no later than 1 hour after the start of the race.

Bryn Mawr Racing Co. Sticker updated with correct site