Race direction is a game of precision guesswork- a combination of brain surgery and rocket science. Before the gun goes off, there is a good deal of project planning. Once dawn appears on race day, about 70% of the plan sticks but it is that 30% that keeps me in the game. We cannot always account for weather, inedible green bananas, or equipment issues but there is one thing we can count on . . . on race day anything goes.
From the outside as a participant in our races, you always know what you will get…a consistent, high-quality experience. At Pacers Running we always strive to do our best to exceed expectations. The result of that effort shows with the 40,000+ runners each year who run our events. Behind-the-scenes though it’s a different story… you never know what you will get. The show will always goes on and we’ve got the battle wounds to prove it.
I direct the event from an overall perspective. I trust my people, and everyone makes bad calls some days, but it is all about being fluid, open to the possibilities, and finding non-traditional solutions. Problem solving is the biggest asset in this business; somebody might cry but no one is going to die. We have a 10 part code among the race crew. Number five is respect the event, #7 is a big one, we call “MacGuyverism”. Zip ties, duct tape, and a pocket knife are required tools and used to solves all sorts of issues during events. My crew is like a group of pirates.
This industry is an old boys club, breaking into it was hard, but my mind was set. I knew I could prove that I could do this job and do it well. I owe a big part of that thinking to my mom, she was a huge influence on me and taught me I could be anything I wanted to be and that there are no limitations. My mom’s generation was on the cusp of women’s rights and saw opportunities for me in the future. Chris [Farley] and Kathy [Dalby] embody the ideas my mom embedded in me.
I am passionate about directing races. It is a lifestyle, it affords me awesome opportunities, and I get to ensure the best quality experience for every runner. There is no average day in my life and I would not want it any other way.