Season 2,
33 MINS

Mr. Murphy just canceled your race – MOD013

January 10, 2017
Show Notes

Welcome to the Merchants of Dirt Podcast Episode #13, hosted by Reckoneer.com founder Kyle M. Bondo. This is your insider’s guide to practical recreational engineering where I teach you the art and science of building, promoting, and directing off-road races. In this first episode of 2017, I’m dedicating lucky number episode #13 to my co-host, Mr. Murphy! This will be the first of 4 cautionary tales dedicated to topics Mr. Murphy wants to talk about — which means the month of January 2017 is focused entirely on the Murphy’s Law of Racing, and how we deal with topics like risk management, disaster recovery, and how to bounce back when everything goes wrong! Because when you’re dealing with Mr. Murphy, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Right? By the way: Mr. Murphy just called… your race was just canceled! Ooohh!


In This Episode
  • 0:01

    Introduction to Mr. Murphy’s Laws of Racing

  • 0:01

    Coffee’s for Closers

  • 0:01

    Mr. Murphy just canceled your race

  • 0:01

    Final Thoughts

  • 0:01

    Until Then

  • 0:01

    Call to Action


Introduction to Mr. Murphy’s Laws of Racing
  • #1 – If something can go wrong with your race, it will go wrong with your race.
  • #2 – You never find a lost piece of equipment until you replace it.
  • #3 – Gear will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
  • #4 – Smile. The next race will be worse.
  • #5 – Left to themselves, races tend to go from bad to worse.
  • #6 – Lack of planning can always be overcome with the proper amount of last minute enthusiasm.
  • #7 – A racer invariably gets hurt when they are at the furthest most inaccessible point on your course.
  • #8 – The first 90% of race planning takes 90% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.
  • #9 – If you are short of everything but racers, it’s race day.
  • #10 – The important things in a race are always simple; the simple are always hard.

Coffee’s for Closers

Do you want to know what else is memorable? A good cup of coffee! Now if you a fan of the Merchants of Dirt podcast, you know that I’m not much of a straight up black coffee drinker. It’s not you normal US Navy veteran stereotype. I blame the Navy. I drank gallons of coffee that tasted like it was strained with a Sailor’s sock. Sailor’s are not well known for clean socks either — long days on their feet. Yeah! Think that one through. But it was Navy coffee or nothing, so it was the greatest beverage to drink. Even if it could eat the chrome off a trail hitch.

Now my Best Girl? She can drink any coffee straight. I wish I could do that. I wish I could enjoy my coffee that way. But I like to dull the taste of coffee with cream and sugar. Now this doesn’t take away from the coffee flavor. I can tell what’s going on with the coffee and I can tell what is good coffee… and what is great coffee. So today’s “Coffee’s for Closers” segment is shout-out to fellow Veteran-owned Ricks Roasters Coffee Company in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It is the only coffee I drink right now.

Who is Ricks Roasters? Is a small coffee roaster located in Stafford, Virginia, just North of Fredericksburg. They have dozens of blends to choose from, but my favorite blend is their Four Horsemen coffee. Why the Four Horsemen? First off — it’s called FOUR HORSEMEN? Who could turn a coffee like that down? Second off, it has a taste that is Shiny and Chrome! Like Valhalla in a cup. And if you don’t know what that means, it means it’s really good coffee! Sean and Keely Ricks have really created something special with this company. So please support my local favorite Ricks Roasters Coffee Company by visiting their website: Ricksroasters.com. You can find everything about their new blends, where to find their coffee, and even how to order it online!

Tell them Kyle send you.


Mr. Murphy just canceled your race

As a race promoter, when it comes to bad weather ruining your race, you need to have three things ready to survive:

  • #1 — A Bad Weather Policy
  • #2 — A Planned Rain Day
  • #3 — Money to Give Refunds

#1 — Always Have a Policy
There is a point during race planning that refunds become a problem. Usually, it’s right around race day. Racers will suddenly realize they have other plans and want a refund. Should you give it to them? Maybe. You should be straight up with your racers from day one. On your website, race registration site, or newsletter email, you should tell racers when it’s too late to get a refund. If you want to provide a portion of their registration back after a certain date, you can. But make it clear what your policy is.

#2 — Always Have a Rain Day
You could call this a Snow Day, or a Black Flag Sun Day — but let’s face it: rain is the biggest threat to your race. As your biggest threat, you need to plan for its arrival. Mr. Murphy loves rain. And the race you plan without a rain day is the day Mr. Murphy plans on showing up. You need to pick a rain date and make sure it is part of your permit. Most park managers want you to have a rain day. and it’s your job to make sure you can deliver the same race on your rain day. If you end up not using those rain days, you can always think about including an additional race on your schedule that does use that day. Better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

#3 — Always Plan for Refunds
You need to save back at least 50-percent of your pre-registration fees in case you need to provide refunds. If the race goes off without a hitch, then those funds can go to paying the park or profit. However, you need to have a portion saved aside for contingencies. If 50-percent saved back means you cannot hold your race, then you need to evaluate your situation and find additional funds. It might even be the motivation to go find sponsors. Not every racer is going to want a refund. Remember, customer service comes first, profit second. You need to make money, but you can’t do that if you don’t have any customers. It’s not worth it to argue with customers regarding refunds. However, if you DO NOT have a rain day, and NEVER hold your race, you should give everyone back their money. Take the hit. Do the right thing. You will sleep better at night for it.

And Know you know.


Final Thoughts

The secret to stopping Mr. Murphy is Contingency Planning. Contingency planning is probably the MOST important event management process there is. It is also the thing Mr. Murphy hates the most. When you’re prepared to deal with issues BEFORE they happen, you minimize the impact Mr. Murphy will have on your race, even if you never have to use it.


Until Then

Halleluja! We survived our first of four Mr. Murphy cautionary tales. But lucky number episode #13 only starts this entire month dedicated to risk management, disaster recovery, and how to bounce back when everything goes wrong.

In our next episode, we’ll cover the second of four cautionary tales focusing in on your need for an emergency response plan, and how calling 9-1-1 is not it!


Call to Action

Happy New Year and thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter.

I have a few things I want you to do right now:

Action #1 — Subscribe to the Merchants of Dirt Podcast
If you want to Subscribe to make sure you never miss an Episode, the Merchants of Dirt website is how to do it
One click gets you every single episode — FOR FREE — if you’ve got an Android, iPhone, however, you get your podcasts. One click get’s it all for you!

Action #2 — Give me some feedback
Thank you for helping build the Merchants of Dirt community and by telling all your friends. If there is a topic you would like me to cover, please join my Facebook group: Merchants of Dirt Race Promoters Group.

Action #3 — Get my Newsletter
Go to Reckoneer.com SLASH Join and drop your email in the box so I can tell you when a new episodes has come out.


Thank You for Listening

Welcome to 2017 — Now go build better races!

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