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Mistakes of a Race Director

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

A Race Director's hope is that runners participate in the race, have a great time, go tell their friends about it, and don't notice anything that went wrong.

Well, there's always something that goes wrong.

Here's a little look behind the scenes of the first inaugural Dusk to Dawn Relay Race....



Our race is a little unique, both in the fact that it's held overnight, but mainly that it's run on salt (the Bonneville Salt Flats). To light the 2-mile course, I glued hundreds of those party lights you might find in balloons or vases at wedding receptions onto golf tees.

The mistake? I used white golf tees 🤦‍♂️

White golf tees and salt are not a good combo (that is, if you want to be able to find it once you set it down). I wasted waaayyyyyy too much time looking for tees I had set down on the salt.

The solution this year? Black golf tees.


We're proud of the deluxe pancake breakfast we hold at the end of our race. Especially since all additional proceeds (and 5% of every race fee) goes to the charity Run On.

Buttermilk pancakes, butter and syrup galore, fruit, chocolate milk, and juice.

Frozen juice, at least.

Put it on my list this year to take the frozen juice out of the cooler before the breakfast starts! Like the night before....

At least we had enough milk, and some people got very cold juice as it began to thaw.


As the Dusk to Dawn Relay Race is held at night, I hadn't thought of the setting up the course being entirely in the day (the race only started in 2019, to be fair, so still learning). Or at least the consequences of the day setup.

Just like snow reflects the sun (you'll know if you've ever been skiing or snowboarding), salt in August reflects just as much. Fair complexion, no sunglasses, short sleeves and shorts made for a sunburn-to-remember.

Next time I'm wearing a full robe and cowboy hat.


Remember the white golf tees? And the sunburn? Those added some delays to the course setup.

To get the golf tees into solid salt, we had to pound them with a hammer and screwdriver. All 250+ of them. That took... longer than originally anticipated, to say the least.

Everything else was actually quite a breeze! But as we were cutting the course set up close to the race start, we made the hard call to cut it short.

But not this time! As long as we learn from our failures, right? And I certainly will.


So there you have it. Mistakes of a Race Director - some big, some small. All of which we learn from to make future races seamless, at least from a runners perspective...

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