MOD 011: Strategies for picking your race dates

Merchants of Dirt Episode #11

Picking your race dates is an important part of your strategic process that requires you to remove all the wrong dates before the right dates will emerge. I also talk about how obstacle course racing is doing something that adventure racing is not: getting people — customers — interested in off-road endurance sports again.

Key Take Away #1: Strategies for picking your race dates

Picking your race dates is an important part of your strategic process.

Usually, between October and December, you sit down with your list of potential race offerings, pull out your calendar and a pen, and start considering possible dates.

In a world that only has 365 days in it (366 on those pesky leap years), and only 52 weekends, you have a total of 104 days available to you and your races.

When you take away all the dates that will cause problems, that number is greatly reduced.

To begin figuring out which dates will work, and which will not, you’re going to need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • How many races will you offer next year?
  • What days of the week will your races be held on?
  • How many races will your competitors offer next year?
  • What weekends will you consider blocked or blacked-out?
  • What weekends are a risk?

I talk about this more in my article Get your next race permit approved.

If you do plan on hosting a race during risky weather months, you can learn how to survive a storm in my article How to bounce back when everything goes wrong.

By going through these questions one-by-one, you start to create a list of dates that will NOT work for your next season.

When you remove all the wrong dates, the right dates will emerge.

Key Take Away #2: Bring your failing adventure race business back to life

The real reason Lewis and Clark signed up for the Thomas Jefferson’s Memorial Adventure Race was their unadulterated sense of adventure and curiosity for the outdoors.

It is the same sense of adventure and courage that brings thousands of new Adventure Racers into the sport each year.

The problem is too many of the current assortment of adventure races are geared towards advanced racers, not amateurs.

If you’re a greenhorn adventure racer, the idealism of the Lewis and Clark style expedition has been lost among today’s adventure race promotion companies.

No longer are they looking to create events to act as gateways to the harder races.

It is this new crop of adventure racing idealists that needs to be cultivated with events geared towards their beginner level skills.

This is exactly why obstacle course racing is stealing all of adventure racing’s beginner level customers.

Obstacle course racing is doing something that adventure racing is not.

It is getting people — customers — interested in off-road endurance sports again.

However, obstacle course racing is only getting those beginner level racers halfway there.

By producing beginner adventure races, you now allow these newly minted newbie endurance racers something different enough to be interesting.

And now you know.

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!

Please enjoy this special Christmas edition of the Merchants of Dirt Podcast with regular theme music replaced by Carol of the Bells Rock by Bequadro.

This version of Carol of the Bells is an uplifting and upbeat full power arrangement in rock style of the popular Christmas carol composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914.
The song is based on a Ukrainian folk chant called “Shchedryk”.

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Thank You for Listening

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, by Email, or my Contact Form.

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Kyle Bondo
Kyle Bondo is a thinker, podcaster, author, and creative strategy dragon seeking to make a small dent in the universe. He is the founder of Reckoneer, host of the Merchants of Dirt and Get Lost Racing podcasts, and an avid adventure racer.
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