Recruiting Top Talent At A Race Isn’t Easy

New York Roadrunners' CEO Mary Wittenberg with Haile Gebrselassie on a recruiting trip in 2007. Photo: Photorun.net

New York Roadrunners' CEO Mary Wittenberg with Haile Gebrselassie on a recruiting trip in 2007. Photo: Photorun.net

Race organizers like New York Roadrunners’ CEO Mary Wittenberg have to literally chase world-class marathoners like Haile Gebrselassie in order to convince them to run their races.

Every year, the top marathons around the world have to scramble to assemble a competitive and attractive field of runners. This entails accounting for injuries as well as staying within budget–both very challenging aspects of race management. With only so many world-class runners and an increasing amount of large-city races, this can be difficult for organizers like Wittenberg who have to dedicate a lot of time and travel budget to properly network.

“Our strategy is to be everywhere, supporting these athletes and building relationships,” Wittenberg said.

In order to sign Gebrselassie for the ING New York City Marathon, Wittenberg had to fly out to the champion’s new resort in Lake Hawassa.

For More: New York Times

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