This year’s Event Organizer and TD Training Seminar was held over the weekend in Waterville, ME. We kicked off the seminar with presentations at the Chace Community Forum (housed in Colby’s new downtown dormitory on Main Street). The content of this year’s presentations was markedly different from years past, with heavy focus on how we work together to be even better event hosts. Highlights from the presentations include Mary Anne Levins speaking to her experience as a Race Secretary and Ed Despard of Bullittiming on all the new updates in the world of timing. The key takeaways from these presentations:
“The Race Secretary and Chief of Timing are the problem solvers that keep Timer and Race Jury appraised of the all the event’s behind the scene’s communications.”
“Keep your timers happy, they are under a lot of pressure to produce quality results and they are the first to be blamed when something goes wrong”
“Things always don’t go according to plan at a race – the better prepared your race staff is, the less the public will notice the mistakes.”
We discussed how we include ParaNordic athletes in our events. The easiest thing we can do is add a category for them at registration. The next step is to reach out to the athletes that register for that category and have a conversation with them about their goals for the race and invite them to preview the course with you. As we move toward greater inclusion, think of ways that they can be safely incorporated into the start order so that they have the opportunity to ski with able bodied skiers.
On Sunday our focused shifted to hands on experience at the Quarry Road Opener. Participants were asked to move around to different tasks and learn at each one. These included shadowing the Race Secretary, Timer, the start crew, event setup, and observing how athletes navigated the course. The format of the day allowed for lots of dialogue and the chance to make observations without feeling the pressure of hosting the event. There were 27 event participants this year, including four timers and several virtual attendants. Those that attended in person really enjoyed the face-to-face interactions!