This is mostly a rhetorical question, I suppose. I know it involves permits and coordination with the city, police and fire departments and any other number of municipal offices. Liability insurance would have to be secured. Vendors for services like chip timing, photography and start/finish line infrastructure would have to be hired. You can't have a race without entrants, so there is plenty of marketing that would need to be done. A service like Active.com would have to be brought on for registration processing.
At some point there is bound to be a problem with the permit application and your dreams of being a race director will slide perspicuously close to the edge of a chasm. In fact, this will probably happen a few times throughout the process.
Then there is the money. And you'll need a lot of it before you sign up your first runner. You can spend your own, but like my Daddy always said - "Why spend your own in business when you can spend someone else's?" Finding sponsors is an obvious solution - but where do you fit this in? You've got a classic "chicken or the egg situation", where you'll need the money before you actually have a race but it's going to be tough to get the money without a race. Think the studio tapes/record company scene from Boogie Nights.
And then finally, you need to find an army of volunteers to make everything from aid stations to course marshaling happen. I'm certain I am forgetting a lot as well.
Sounds like a lot of work, huh?
|San Gabriel River|
Well, that's unfortunate because I may have stumbled upon the perfect half marathon course. For conversational purposes, I'm calling in the "River To River Half Marathon". Theoretically, the race starts in a marina/hotel complex just north of the San Gabriel River Jetty, crosses into Seal Beach and follows Ocean Avenue through town. It then turns east onto Seal Beach Blvd and then south onto Pacific Coast Highway where it crosses the Anaheim Bay Bridge. From there the course cuts south into the exclusive seaside neighborhood of Sunset Beach. At about the 5 mile mark, the course crosses into Huntington Beach, merges onto the multi-use path, and ends 8 odd miles later feet from the banks of the Santa Ana River.
|Santa Ana River|
It's not like I'm the first one to discover this route. I can think of 4 races that use the Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, with the Surf City Marathon being the most notable. But to me, there is something cool about running from river estuary to river estuary where the distance just happens to 13.1 miles. There is a certain natural order of things feeling about it that appeals to me.
Of course, there would be a much simpler and DIY way to do this - just get 10 or 15 or 20 or more people together on a Sunday morning and just run it. Permits? Who needs permits? All we'd need is someone to start a stopwatch and record times at the finish line plus a few more people with water, gels and whatever else along the route. After all, we are just a group of friends out for a run. And maybe the next year it's just a bigger group of friends.
As to an entry fee - How about everyone brings a bundle of firewood and a full cooler for a post race beach barbecue?
Think about it, this would be fun. I hereby nominate Kovas and Chris K to the planning committee, they need something positive to work on together after all that Ipad business. Do I hear a second?