To kick off this Race Director interview series we wanted to find a special local event and race director.
Martin Drolet was the man for the job! I mean, the guy imported The Color Run to Canada!!
We’ve been lucky to interview Martin as he shares his secrets for organizing better races. Pearls of wisdom for all of us race directors out there!
What is your background? How did Martin Drolet end up race director?
My background is a Bachelor degree in Hotel Management and also I’ve been certified a personal trainer and Fitness group class Instructor for the past 20 yrs. In 2011, I saw the video on youtube of the race The Color Run and decided to send a email to tell them that I would like to bring it to Montreal and it all started there.
What is your most memorable day as a race director?
It’s on every race when I meet my participants and they tell me their personal story of why they decided to take their life in their own hands and be healthier and walk or run a 5km and often loosing a lot of weight. But my paycheck is always to see all these runner having fun and smiling … it makes me emotional every time.
What makes The Color Run races truly unique events?
Well every year we make sure we bring the fun in this race and to see the participants have a blast going threw the color zone, it’s amazing. At The Color Run we take pride in making sure our events are perfect and the participants only concern is to have a good time. Every year we have a new theme for our tour that incorporate the color zones. I get often told how amazing the organisation of the event is so smooth and stress-free even if theire are 15 000 participants.
What do you wish you knew about organizing running races when you started out?
How much fun it was 🙂
You must have seen everything when it comes to race logistics! What are your best logistics tips for race directors?
1 – Be over prepared for the worst
2 – Have always a plan B, C, D, E, …
3 – Stay calm, their is nothing worst than a stressed out Race Director
Your races at The Color Run seems to be always full, what are your best race promotion tips?
1 – Have great visuals when promoting it
2 – Have a video that shows how fun are the events
3 – Target a city or area where you don’t have competition
4 – Have some contacts in media, it helps a lot
Do you have other race competitors? If yes, how do you differentiate?
Yes totally. We differentiate ourselves via our organisation, our venues or location. We have a different theme every year to make it more fun as well as new sponsors every year.
How many volunteers do you have for each race? How do you recruit & manage them?
For Montreal for example, for a 15 000 participants race, we need about 225 volunteers for the event. We associate ourself with some local charities or fundations
Race directors’ #1 challenge is securing sponsors. What is your secret sauce when it comes to finding & securing sponsors?
Definitely having a great product to present them, the # of participants as reach they will get and the notoriety of your company without forgetting the name of your race.
What is usually your biggest challenge when it comes to organizing a color run race?
Finding the perfect venue to make sure you course is fun, beautiful but safe. It’s often hard in big cities with road closers
Where can people find Martin Drolet and The Color Run online?