July 17, 2011
Assistant Director, Intramural/Recreational Sports
University of Arkansas
Road and trail racing events have surged in number and participation in the last few decades, and their popularity is certainly understandable. Running and walking are easily accessible forms of exercise, and race events provide structured opportunities to test performance goals, interact with other enthusiasts, and celebrate physical accomplishment. Races are great components of campus recreation programs, either as stand-alone events or in coordination with other program efforts such as homecomings or campus health initiatives.
Despite the appropriateness of road racing within campus recreation programs, many program managers find the task of administering a race event to be daunting. Dramatic incidents and deaths in several high-profile race events have understandably contributed to misgivings regarding the safety of such events as well as reluctance in undertaking their administration. While race administration entails some specific risk management considerations, race directors can ensure that their race is as safe and well-managed as possible by utilizing some basic risk management principles.