Adapting As You Go: 4 Tips on Growing Your Race from Richard Maher

RichardMaherWith the Eugene Marathon celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, race director Richard Maher has a decade to look back on.

From the Duck Dash 1K and the Run TT 5K to the half and full marathon, Richard says the Eugene Marathon is one of the most rewarding things he’s ever done. Being able to see runners compete in their first race or connecting with marathoners who run the race year after year, that’s what keeps Richard focused on putting on a great event every year.

We recently talked to Richard about listening to your runners, how to stand out in an ever-growing endurance market, and how to attract and retain volunteers for your race.

  1. Volunteers are just as important to the race as runners

“Putting on a race for thousands of participants is a daunting task and we couldn’t do it without our army of dedicated volunteers. We make it fun for them and show them the appreciation they deserve.”

  1. Listening to runners helps improve your race

“We sincerely listen to feedback and suggestions and aren’t afraid to change things up from year to year. Runner’s World named us a “perfect race” a few years back and it’s listening to all of our participants that’s made it possible.”

  1. Be different and stand out

“There has to be something to set you apart from other marathons, like having a course that stands out, putting on a first-class event the first year and making your race all about your participants.”

  1. Keep your runners updated, but don’t over share

“It’s such a digital world these days. By being consistent, informative and not overloading our audience with messages, we’re reaching more people more effectively than ever before.”

Read more from Richard and other Event Directors of the Month.