After your event you need to ask yourself these two important questions:
What did not go well?
Did registration flow smoothly? Were the bib pick up lines backed up? Did the race go off on time? If so why not? Did the timer produce quick and accurate results? Did the finish line run smoothly? Did you get your awards ceremony off in time? How were your post race refreshments? Did course set up and pick go smoothy? Were there any complaints about the race course? How was the kids race (if you had one)? Did you have enough volunteers? Did they show up on time? Etc. etc….You get the drift. I’m sure you can think of many more questions. Be honest in your evaluation.
What improvements could you make for next years race?
Once you’ve made your list of things that did not go as planned try to come up with an action list of constructive solutions. You will be in a much better position to create constructive solutions while everything is still fresh in your mind rather than 10 months later when your two months away from next year’s race.
If you don’t plan to return as race director (or are not sure) you might be tempted to skip all the post-mortem analysis but its even MORE important if its possible you might not return. Your successor will need this information to get off to a good start rather rather than re-inventing the proverbial wheel.
If you have a race committee my suggestion is that you tackle the above two questions in a final post-race meeting. Take detailed notes. The race committee might be totally burned out so take them out for coffee or drinks for a final wrap
up meeting and get their thoughts on these as well. If that’s not possible (or some cannot attend) send an email out with these two questions and tell them they they can answer in confidence and that you’ll keep it confidential. I can’t tell you the number of races where I’ve pulled out my dusty notes as we begin planning for next year’s race and being surprised at the # of things I wrote down that I otherwise would have totally forgotten.
Remember, The devils in the details!!!! Successful race directors are detailed oriented.
Oh yes…..and save those race day paper registration forms for at least 3 years (or whatever the statute of limitations is in your state).