On Saturday, January 26, over 70 Ontario Road and Trail Running Race Directors gathered at Acme Works in Toronto for the second annual Athletics Ontario Race Director Summit.
Emceed by one of North America’s leading Race Announcers Steve Fleck, and organized by Athletics Ontario’s Road and Trail Running Coordinator, Sheryl Preston, the day was brimming with relevant information on everything related to directing a road and trail race today in Ontario.
Topics included Emergency Planning and Awareness, lead by Charlotte Brooks, Race Director at Canada Running Series, Kevin Jones of Odyssey Medical, Trevor Hyland of the City of Toronto – Operations of Emergency Management, and Craig Young, Staff Sergeant of the Toronto Police Service. Albert Ngai and Michael Brennan then provided many useful tips on Race Course Management. Erin Roza of Canada Running Series then shared her professionalism on How to Recruit and Retain Volunteers for Events. We were honoured to host Jeff Rowthorn and Heather Borsellino, of Happy Trails Racing, who gave an enlightening talk about The Growing and Evolving World of Trail Running and Racing worldwide, and here in Ontario.
The afternoon then revolved around sponsorship and marketing topics with Chantelle Wilder, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Race Roster who spoke about the importance of The Use of Social Media with today’s marketing tactics. Chris Uszynski, of Running Flat furthered that conversation in line with unique thoughts around Race Branding. Peter Donato of Good Times Running and Road Race Results then provided many enlightening ideas about Obtaining Effective Sponsorships. The day was concluded with our own Sheryl Preston and Paul Osland of Athletics Ontario, who spoke about Athletics Ontario’s Growing Involvement in Road and Trail Running in Ontario.
An overwhelmingly positive response from last year’s event showed a 20% growth this year. Respectfully, a tremendously optimistic response was observed in the room on Saturday from our passionate community of Race Directors in Ontario, who are always looking to make their races safer, more enjoyable and more accessible for participants each year. Athletics Ontario certainly plans to continue to grow this event annually. Thank you to this year’s sponsors, Race Roster, Scimitar Sports, Henley Financial and Wealth Management, Good Times Running and Road Race Results. We will be looking for sponsors and speakers to help make next year happen and grow as well.
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