The Path to Endurance Event Success Is Changing

The Path to Endurance Event Success Is Changing

A couple of weeks ago, I worked at a triathlon on the island of St. Croix and have had some time to reflect on the events of the weekend. This race has been taking place since the late 80s and has hosted the greatest athletes this sport has known, from Olympians to World Champions and the best age groupers from all over the World. The layout of the event is highly reflective of the early roots of triathlon, the goal was to challenge the best with the best. Early on in the bike, athletes encounter The Beast, a climb that offers grades of more than 25%. Approaching the top, walking is often faster than riding. Over the top, there are still close to 30 miles to the end of the bike. On the 13.1 mile run, athletes are challenged by the tropical heat and humidity, numerous changes to the terrain and a golf course hill that more closely resembles a climb up a ladder. You get to do this twice before you’re done.

If a course like this was offered to today’s triathletes, a skeptical response would not be surprising. The toughness of the Beast and the idea of running around a golf course with so many terrain changes wouldn’t survive the first draft. But back in the 80s, the sport was all about doing something different and perhaps a bit “off the wall”. This race embodies that spirit.

To me, that’s the beauty of time and its ability to change perspective and reality. Standards change. What worked then might not work now. Which is one of the reasons why RacePartner has partnered with Running USA to conduct the Millennial Running Study with results to be released in 2016.

Today, the journey to an event begins the moment an athlete signs up for the race, even before they start the training. The athlete’s impression of your event begins well before race day. Event directors spend lots of time and energy ensuring a positive race experience, so why should subject athletes to anything but the best registration experience?

Dave Ragsdale

Dave Ragsdale

To many athletes, Dave Ragsdale is the voice over the PA system that greets them at the finish line at triathlons and running races all over North America.  In his 15 years as a Race Announcer, Ragsdale has greeted more than 500,000 athletes to their finish line.

An athlete himself, Ragsdale’s fastest running times may be in the past but he is still proud of 16:47 5K and 2:59:54 Marathon, both achieved after the age of 40.

In 2005, Ragsdale was recruited to be the Race Co-Chair for the Susan G. Komen South Florida Race for the Cure, became the first and only man to lead the Race the following year – and helped to break the $1 Million Mark for the first time – and later served on the Board of Directors.  In 2013, Ragsdale concluded his time on the Board after serving as Board President for 2.5 years.  He continues to volunteer at the yearly event.

Born in Minneapolis, Ragsdale grew up in Pleasantville, NY was educated at Colgate University graduating with a BA.  He lives with his wife, Molly, in West Palm Beach and enjoys their frequent runs along Flagler Drive.

Dave is a sales executive for RacePartner, helping events provide a better experience for their participants. Dave has been in sales for more than 30 years, 20 of them in the active lifestyle endurance space, previously with Competitor Group.
Dave Ragsdale

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