Every year, Fair Hill International hosts one of the most prestigious international equestrian competitions in the world: the three day event. Known as the “triathlon of equestrian sport,” eventing requires each horse and rider to compete in dressage, cross-country jumping and show jumping, and those who do well might go on to compete internationally. If you’re not familiar with equestrian events, suffice it to say that this is a big deal.
It’s such a big deal, in fact, that Fair Hill makes a festival of it. People come from all over the U.S. and Canada to watch the competition, support the riders and their horses, tailgate, watch live performances, try craft beer, sample local food and more. So, when Fair Hill International approached us to providing timing for the event’s first-ever 5K (for humans!), we were thrilled to help out.
Organizing a 5K: From Start to Finish Line
GORE Running Wear has been a long-time supporter of the Fair Hill International Equestrian 3-Day. The event is in their backyard, and have always loved supporting the community by being a sponsor. This year, they wanted to play a bigger role, and what better way to support the event AND promote their running gear and apparel than hosting a 5K?
At an event with international prestige and a lot of very serious runners, GORE and Fair Hill International relied on SpectaSport for professional timing services, accurate results, easy online registration, and general race management support and advice.
Race Management Support. GORE is no stranger to 5K races, and they had some ideas for race day that we were excited to help with. They wanted the course to preview the arena that the equestrians would be competing in later on and they wanted to make sure the race was appealing to serious runners, rather than having a “fun run” vibe. We helped create the course and address the safety concerns of having human runners on the track at an equestrian event. We also helped organize the prize structure for each age group, to incentivize serious runners. On top of all that, we were under a strict deadline for this race, and brought together a well-organized event in a very short period of time.
Online Registration. With so many parties involved in this massive event, an easy-to-use administrative system was key for this 5K race. Each of our running packages comes with online registration that makes it simple for registrants to sign up for the event and get all the information they need prior to race day. Event organizers at Fair Hill were notified about new sign ups as they registered, which made it easy to stay up-to-date with the number of participants.
Race Timing & Results. Knowing that many of these runners work for GORE and are very familiar with 5Ks and other races, we knew the timing had to be impeccable. Thankfully our state-of-the-art chip timing system not only provides the most accurate race results possible, but we make it easy for runners to get their results instantaneously. Having great prizes in one thing, but they won’t mean much if the runners don’t have faith in the timing system. That’s where our top-of-line race-day timing solutions comes, making runners feel comfortable they have the correct results.
Follow Up. Many races end on race day, but not ours. Thanks to our robust registration software, we’re able to send thank you emails to each individual competitor and notify them of any pictures, videos or results that they might not have seen yet. This kind of attention to detail is what makes participants tell their friends about the race.
Looking Ahead: Next Year’s 5K
With sophisticated and easy to use race timing technology, streamlined race management tools and unparalleled customer service, we expect runners to come back to this 5K year after year. The best part about our partnership with Fair Hill International and GORE, was that despite the stature, professionalism and sheer size of this overall event, SpectaSport was able to meet their needs with our “Charity Star” Race Timing Package, which is an affordable option for eligible organizations.
We thoroughly enjoyed timing this one, and we’re always happy when our clients are happy. Check out what Fair Hill International Executive Director had to say about working with us:
“Ken really delivered. The fact of the matter remains that if we didn’t have SpectaSport making it a legitimate and successful event with high-quality timing, we wouldn’t have gotten as many serious runners signing up.” – Carla Geiersbach, Executive Director, Fair Hill International