A Race Director’s Checklist

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Aug. 19, 2011
  • Updated May. 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM UTC

Think you can handle the race directing gig? Here’s some advice from two wise directors.

Compiled by: Erin Beresini

More from So You Want To Be A Race Director?

Dave Nicholas, inventor of Xterra off-road triathlon and event director for 30-plus years. Photo:

“You must surround yourself with good people. You cannot possibly do it yourself. Train them, and when they get good, you’ve got to trust them.” —Dave Nicholas, inventor of Xterra off-road triathlon and event director for 30-plus years.

“Keep an eye on the big goal. Sports for sports’ sake mean nothing. Recognize the opportunities you have to help communities.” —Tracy Sundlun, a founder of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and race director for 30-plus years.

“Do what’s right. Don’t do what’s easy. Don’t do what makes you the most money. Just do what’s right. Always. You’ll sleep well at night; you’ll make a lot of friends.” —Dave Nicholas

Tracy Sundlun, founder of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series.

“If you want to make a lot of money race directing, start with more. You can make money with it, but it’s not an easy gig.” —Dave Nicholas

“When things go well, it’s a very rewarding position. But you cannot be a person who gets nervous, because the s#!^ is hitting the fan all of the time. You have to be like a World War II bomber pilot—just keep going.” —Dave Nicholas

“The day you’re not anxious about every detail is the day you gotta quit.” —Tracy Sundlun

- This piece first appeared in the July issue of Competitor Magazine.

FILED UNDER: Features / Inside The Magazine / Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series TAGS: / / /

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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