All last year, I went to bike races put on by other groups and clubs, like Alberta Mountain Bike Racing, United Cycle, Hardcore and so on. I showed up and rode my bike, then ate some food as I waited around impatiently for results, podium and draw prizing. After, I went home. This year, through RVC I’ve helped put on two racers, and let me tell ya, I was completely taken back by the amount of organization and work that goes into these local races…
Course design is fun. You get to ride around and pick what trails you want to ride, or force other racers to ride. There is a certain diviousness that comes into play here, haha so yeah this part is cool. But then getting the course GPS mapped and into a ‘created from scratch’ tech guide is something else. Then you have to mark the actual course so the racers can pre-ride it in the days leading up. This can be easlier said than done. We ran our racers in Terwilliger, which is an open to the public park and a very popular dog park. So between the 5 Peaks running race that was scheduled for the day before our event, then some random haters that decided to tear down staking and taping we’d done, come race morning the course still needed a lot of TLC. Thankfully it all got done in time, so no big worries.
Registration needs to all be set up on-line, and we did this through Karelo. This is a super functional website for sporting event sign up, but I think it was a little bit of a pain actually getting our event up there. Once it is though, you’re good to go. Except, us racers sure aren’t shy about leaving it to the last minute. We were watching the sign-ups just trickle in. This is alittle unnerving, as you’re out there spending money on infrastructure, racing materials, food, beverages, etc… But in the end, this year’s Perogy had a huge turn out. I was told somewhere around 140 racers. Bigger than last year, so not to shabby.
We also had a great showing of volunteers come out, which was awesome and I have to thank them all again here! We had to get 30, and in the end I think we had near to 40. Again though, this was a moderately stressful component because a lot of folks didn’t sign up until the last couple days. Personally, I think we have the weather to thank for this. We couldn’t have asked for better volunteers, or weather!
So, for the volunteers, there had to be an information packaged created with descriptions of roles and expectation, race times, course maps, and driving instructions on how to get to the park itself. Then there was also the food. We packed up 40 bagged lunches, with Subway sandwhiches, fruit, granola bars, jelly beans and beverages. This was, of course, on top of the racer food, and the PEROGYS!!!! Yes, when the name of your race is The Perogy XC, you better cook up some perogys. So yup, we served up 400 of them, with all the fixin’s. I snuck one or two myself and they were damn good.
Organizing the timing, race result, and prizing and working with the commissaires to be sure everything meets ABA standards is a whole other kettle of fish. Then there is making sure you have tents and a PA system and music so the atmosphere is more fun for everyone. Lastly, there was tear down and clean up! All in all, it was seriously a lot work, and I’m not getting into it in details. There was lots of help to go around, great support from the shop, which was great but Kirk Hamilton from RVC did 75% of it all himself so hats off to him for sure. I can certainly say that now that I’ve been on the other side of things, I’ll be a lot more appreciative of the race organizers. It’s a big job!