Athletics Ontario will be hosting 3rd Annual Race Director Summit on Saturday January 18, 2020 to further the conversation on the continual growth of a healthy, safe, and vibrant road (and trail) running race community in Ontario. All sports are welcome to attend!
We have a new format this year including targeted roundtable discussions. Participants will cycle in around 5 tables of 10-25 throughout the morning and afternoon for 45' breakout sessions. Each table will be lead by 2-3 discussion facilitators given a variety of topics.
*Not all topics will be discussed, however this is an outline of some topics that may be covered depending on the collective desire of each group:
1) Charlotte Brookes, Kevin Jones, John Halvorsen
Emergency & Medical Preparedness, Safety, Navigating City Permits, Traffic & Policing
- Being Prepared for the unknown. What types of scenarios do you think everyone should think about before going into race week?
- Do you have a communication plan in place in case of an emergency? Who messages, what do they say, where/what platform do they say it on, etc.
- Do you receive support from your medical partner or municipal partners when creating your emergency preparedness plans?
- What are some examples of effective emergency action plans?
- What steps are needed to prepare an effective emergency action plan?
- What options exist/have you used outside of paid police for traffic management/securing your race route?
- What security measures do you think are necessary or a “nice to have” at a running event?
- What risks occur in a running race and how can we overcome these risks?: Medical, Crowd control (during the race, before water stations, through the finish line), Liability/waivers, Communication or lack of, between volunteers (emergency action plan, Health (unsanitary aid stations, Improper training of volunteers, Adverse weather conditions (extreme heat/humidity/cold/ice/hypothermia/heat exhaustion
- Share some stories you have about challenges you encountered in regards to emergency, medical preparedness and/or instances out of your control?
2) Paul Osland & Sheryl Preston
Athletics Ontario's involvement in Road and Trail running, Insurance, Sanctioning & Certification
- Who are we, what are our roles and responsibilities as a Provincial Sport Organization (PSO)i.e. Governance.
- What opportunities, partnerships, exist with Athletics Ontario? How can we communicate to a broad community about your race (website social media)
- What are athletes, volunteers, and executive covered for with Athletics Ontario’s insurance policy?
- What is involved with provincial sanctioning is it the same as accreditation?
- What benefits does my race have by being provincially sanctioned? Why do we have to apply every year? What are we allowed to do with the AO logo on our website?
- What is Athletics Canada certification should my race get certified, how do I get it certified and how long is that good for?
- What does record eligible mean?
- How is it possible to monitor if a race is indeed abiding by provincial sanction criteria – participant feedback, how can this be monitored? Evaluation tool.
- Safe sport direction.
- Are there any opportunities to become an AO certified Race Director what would this entail (insurance proposal)?
- Is there any advantage in having AO members/AO club members participate in races under their registered club?
- What is the Trillium Running Series and how does my race become involved?
3) Erin Roza & John Halvorsen
The volunteer experience; volunteer retention and recruitment
- It is proven that runners that volunteer at running races are overall more motivated to run, and race, than runners that do not volunteer. Educate your community.
- How important are volunteers in the operation of your running race?
- How can volunteering at a running race be a corporate team bonding opportunity?
- How do you communicate with your volunteers?
- How do you train your volunteers?
- What type of team culture do you build around your volunteer base to keep them coming back?
- How do you keep your volunteers accountable so that they show up on race day?
- How do you deal with challenging volunteers?
4) John Halvorsen, Albert Ngai & Charlotte Brookes
The Event Experience: Logistics & Management
- What municipal rules do you find challenging to navigate? What tactics are involved to solve these challenges?
- What steps and time are necessary to start a new running race or modify an existing race?
- Share some personal success stories about initiatives you have taken with your races that have increased participation or positive participant feedback.
- Does anyone use the Net Promoter Score to determine participant satisfaction at their event?
- What are some fun activities, or value added “experiences” to include at
- running events, i.e. run warm up, post-race cool down, yoga, kids center, post-race massage, post-race foot soak?
- How many port-a-potties per athlete is the norm (at the start line, during the race, finish line)?
- Is there a formula for how much water (cups) and electrolytes I should be supplying depending on weather conditions and depending on the distance of the race?
- How many medical stations should I have at my race (depending on distance)?
- What are some unique prizes (alternatives to medals/trophies)?
- What are some ways and benefits to linking a running event with another event (i.e. concert, parade, especially one that already involves a road closure, park festival)?
- What options exist to make events more “green”/environmentally friendly? What risks occur?
5) Chris Uszynski, Richard Kuchinski & Lennie Kwan
Marketing, Branding & Engagement
- What sources of marketing i.e. social media, emails, videos, are most cost effective?
- Is boosting a post to target audience cost-effective?
- How do you attract sponsorship, (mutually beneficial)?
- Do people read your emails? How do you get them to read them and save them?
- Are promo codes effective at captivating a participant or group of participants?
- How much importance do you place on the quality of your running shirt?
- How important is a good quality medal in today’s era?
- What are some alternative options to finishing medals?
- People love photos, how available are you making your photos to participants, could race photos be a good marketing tool for your next year’s race?
- How can you adapt marketing and social media for different age groups (i.e. attracting the younger vs masters athlete?)
- How can you make kit pick up time efficient?
- Are virtual race kits as effective as traditional kits?
- What are some stories you have had where marketing has clearly increased exposure of your event and increased participation?
- Live facebook/Instagram finish line video feed, is this a good opportunity to attract a certain demographic?
- What are some recent trends (new social media platforms?) that may be useful for your race?
Registration opens, coffee, tea & muffins
Paul Osland & Sheryl Preston
Digital Marketing the Age of Intelligent Marketing
Breakout (1,2 & 3 from above)
15' Break (coffee & tea)
Breakout (1,2 & 3 from above)
Breakout (1,2 & 3 from above)
Lunch and learn
Successful rebranding of a race, case study: The Pride Run
Benefits of using a Race Announcer
Benefits of a good event shirt/brand
Breakout (4 & 5 from above)
Breakout (4 & 5 from above)
Coffee & tea, bar opens
4:00-5:00 Day recap open group Q&A
Open bar with light snacks
Thank you in advance to our talented panel of discussion facilitators, and our sponsors for this coming year! We are honored to have a room full of talent and resources.
Thank you to Scimitar Sports
for the custom tech t-shirt below, GUARANTEED SIZING available only until December 12, 2019.
Registrants are eligible for a 15% discount on the Robbie Burns 8km Road Race
which takes place in Burlington the morning after this event!
Steve Fleck, Race and Event Announcer
Steve Fleck is one of the leading Endurance Sports Race/Event Announcers in North America. Each year he is on the Microphone at over 35 running, cycling and triathlon races. He's also an in-demand Commentator in the fast-growing Live Streaming Sports webcasting business, for running, and cycling races - working closely with both Athletics Canada and Cycling Canada in this area. He's been involved in running, triathlon and cycling in one way or another since his mid-teens, as a participant/competitor and in business. He lives in Aurora, Ontario with his wife, and their dog Gravy!
Lennie Kwan, VP Customer Experience, CRM, Race Roster
Lennie has over thirteen years working in CRM, enterprise architecture, digital marketing, cloud computing and Salesforce. He has led large-scale transformations of B2B & B2C Sales, Service and Marketing implementations across the country and overseas as a Director & Chief Architect of CRM at a leading telecommunications company, TELUS, as well as a Director at Manulife / John Hancock in the Financial Services industry.
John is a 2 time Olympic finalist in the 10,000m and a former Runner’s World Magazine Road Racer of the Year. After retiring from being a competitive runner John joined the board of directors for the National Capital Marathon Inc. and built the Ottawa Race Weekend from 10,000 runners to almost 50,000 at its peak. The organization also absorbed the National Capital Road Runners Association and became Run Ottawa, an organization now responsible for over two dozen events in the region, from World Class events such as Ottawa Race Weekend (an IAAF Gold Label event) to small trail runs with less than 100 participants. John was also instrumental in convincing the Canadian Army to create the Canada Army Run and, perhaps not well known to most, Run Ottawa completely organized the first three editions. John has also served on the board of Athletics Canada as well as on Organizing Committees for Cross Country Ski events including a FIS World Cup. John, recently inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, has also spent over 20 years in high tech and holds a degree in engineering and an MBA.
Kevin Jones, Odyssey Medical
Kevin Jones is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Odyssey Medical. Odyssey provides event medical and risk management services for the mass gathering industry in Canada. Kevin has extensive experience in risk management, emergency communication and event operations. Kevin’s experience spans from remote wilderness expeditions to large scale urban events. He has lead event medical programs for many large obstacle course events, live music events and triathlons. Building on a background in insurance and education, he is committed to evidence based decision making and systems development.
Charlotte Brookes, (National Event Director - Canada Running Series)
Since 2012, Charlotte Brookes has been the Event Director for the Canada Running Series and climbed her way up from Participant Services in 2005 to this role. She is responsible for organizing and managing the entire event and the CRS team across the country, which includes the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. To successfully manage the event, her main focus and role on race day is Emergency Management, Crisis Communication and Event Dispatchers through their Event OperationCentres. It is the only Command Centre in Toronto that is operated by a private company and brings together all the different City agencies into one room to make quick and collaborative decisions on race day. Most recently, she received the Industry Leader Under 40 Award from the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the National Sports Safety Conference in July 2017 and has been asked to be on a panel for Safety and Security at the Running USA conference this coming February.
Albert Ngai, Course Dynamics
Albert has been working in the race management industry for over 10 years and has been involved in course operations in numerous race series ranging from 5Ks to marathons. He has also been a runner in a good number of marathons, half marathons and 30K races over the years. In each event he operates in, Albert focuses on executing a course that is safe and easy to navigate. He is passionate about improving the runner experience. Albert currently runs his own company – Course Dynamics – which offers services in event consulting and course management.
Erin Roza, Volunteer and Charity Program Manager, Canada Running Series
Erin has been managing volunteers in the arts, sports, and recreation industries for over 10 years, the last five and a half with Canada Running Series. Her focus has been on the volunteer experience, not only meeting but exceeding their expectations, providing more than just “hours,” and creating a volunteer community. Erin will lead a discussion on strategies for successful recruitment and retention.
Richard Kuchinsky, Principal and Owner The Directive Collective
The Directive Collective is a full-service design consultancy, focused on providing complete strategic solutions from identity design to marketing, focusing on brand DNA and storytelling. Richard Kuchinsky, Principal and Owner, is an avid runner, Boston Qualifying marathoner and is very active within the Toronto running community. Most recently, The Directive Collective designed the 30th Anniversary 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon race shirts, Official New Balance souvenir apparel graphics and Official race beer. Richard and The Directive Collective was also responsible for the re-branding, race kit graphics and social media marketing for the 2019 pride & remembrance run.
Chris Uszynski, founder Running Flat
Chris, a Windsor native has been race directing for almost 15 years. Starting as an Ultra Marathoner who contracted late onset Asthma he turned his passion for running into organizing and founded RunningFlat, named after the incredibly flat terrain in Essex County. Working in a small market (350,000 population) gave Chris the opportunity to develop several unique brands that have attracted tens of thousands of runners from all over the world. RunningFlat owns or produces events from Los Angeles to Sherbrooke QC, with brands like Canada D’Eh Run, Le Chocolat, Pelee Island Winery Half Marathon, The Color Run (under licence in Canada), Hockeytown 5K and I RAN THE D.
David Ameijeiras, Account Manager MYLAPS Sports Timing
Bridging the gap between work and passion, David has worked in the running industry since 2013. He has worked to support athletes at the Specialty Retail level up to corporate brand Brooks Running. An experienced runner and triathlete, David has spent the last 2.5 years as an Account Manager at MYLAPS Sports Timing serving race producers and timers to provide the most reliable timing and elevate the racer experience at events such as Ironman Triathlon Series and the Boston Marathon.
Dana Bee, Owner Chiptime Results
Dana is the owner/CEO of Chiptime Results, responsible for timing about 200 races a year throughout Ontario. Besides the day to day running of Chiptime, she oversees the ongoing development of the company, as the running industry changes between the different fads at races and the advancement of technology. Dana loves the relationships that she has created with frequent runners and the race directors she works with. She is always open to education, whether it be going to different races local and afar to learn or adapt new ways, or chatting with race directors and runners to help them understand the timing chips or to talk about what they are looking for in races. So any race Dana is at, please say hi and introduce yourself (as long as I don’t look traumatized by my computer) and please chat with any of our staff at races, we are working, but we are there to celebrate in your race experience as well!
Paul Osland, CEO Athletics Ontario
Paul has been a competitive athlete in the sport of athletics for a number of years. He was a member of the Canadian National team (1987-1992) at the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and many other international events. He currently holds the Ontario Open Indoor 600m record, which he set back in 1985.
Paul brings a wide-range of experience in business development and corporate experience combined with his entrepreneurial venture capital experience, and these skills will help him drive the continued development and promotion of athletics in Ontario. Additionally, he has 25 plus years of progressively responsible leadership roles in both the business world and athletics community.
Sheryl Preston, Road & Trail Running Coordinator, Athletics Ontario
Sheryl, Athletics Ontario's Road and Trail Running Coordinator is the organizer of this event. With Athletics Ontario, Sheryl helps to build bridges in the Road and Trail running community provincially, and nationally. She connects race directors, clubs, athletes and members with credible resources to ensure safety and accuracy of events. Providing provincial sanctioning and race day insurance is also a large portion of her role. As a retired Canadian national team rower and having completed multiple road marathons/ultramarathons throughout Canada and the US, and heeps of other races, and as a member of a few running clubs in Ontario and BC, Sheryl deeply appreciates the positive impact that races, and our connected running community can have.
Including full lunch and cocktail hour
ClosedNov. 1 – Nov. 1
Early Bird PricingNov. 1 – Nov. 30
$100.00Dec. 1 – Dec. 31
$110.00Jan. 1 – Jan. 17
- January 18 8:30 a.m. EST - Summit Registration Begins
- January 18 9:00 a.m. EST - Summit Start
- January 18 5:00 p.m. EST - Summit Finish
- January 18 5:30 p.m. EST - Cocktails Start
- January 18 7:00 p.m. EST - Cocktails Finish