The November blog is always one of gratitude. Not only is it the anniversary of Rhode Races (Seven years now! Wow), but as the bulk of our race season is over, it is our opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the year, while we are also in full-blown 2023 planning and ways we can improve for next year.
As I often say, being an RD is a lot like being a runner as far as race prep and execution. It takes months of preparation, attention to the little details, and loads of training…. And a constant eye on the weather! 🙂 This past year, we had a few new PRs. We executed the most events ever in our history as we have been able to help more and more non-profits execute their own visions for a fundraising event. But also – we were freed from the covid-restraints for the first full year and we saw a great many new runners at our races – and for that we are so thankful.
Amongst this growth, we continue to learn and figure out how to improve – even if it is just incrementally. We send out post-race surveys after every race in hopes of listening to our participants and making changes to provide a better race experience. So we are so grateful to everyone who sends back that feedback – whether it is in the form of the survey, stopping to talk to us out in the community, or just a simple email. One great example of this is that I was filling up the Rhode Races truck at a gas station shortly after the Bristol race. A recent participant saw the truck and started chatting with me about his race. In the conversation, he suggested we run the race in reverse – get some of the longer climbs out of the way early and have a more scenic view at the end. I wasn’t sure the town would go for it, or any of the wonderful properties that allow us to use their grounds for the course, but we ended up getting all the approvals, sketched out a new timeframe and eliminated a few turns and securing a paved route to replace the grassy section in Blithewold in the process. We can’t wait to hear what you all think. Some may love this change, some may not – so we may go to a Comrades Marathon format – reversing the course every other year. So continue to share your thoughts and ideas as to how we can make the race experience better. While we might not be able to do this in all cases (we can’t control the weather, and we can’t reverse most of our courses), but we will do what we can with your ideas.
So we just wanted to say thank you – thank you to all of our incredible volunteers that help us keep the races supported and organized, thank you to our Rhode Crew who are the real hustlers of the events, thank you to our local police, fire and EMTS who keep everyone safe, but mostly – Thank you to you – our participants. Thank you for continuing to have faith in us, for coming to the races, for helping us reach our racing goals while we help you to attain yours, and being so helpful in how we can always strive to be better together.
If you are so inclined – here is a link to our year-end survey.