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Norwich Road Runners' Jodie Causer reveals the trials and tribulations of being a race director

Jodie Causer fits in her own running around being the administrative force behind Norwich Road Runners. Picture: Jodie Causer

Jodie Causer fits in her own running around being the administrative force behind Norwich Road Runners. Picture: Jodie Causer

Archant

After joining Norwich Road Runners three years ago I was determined to just run and not get too involved with the club.

Jodie Causer in action. Picture: Jodie CauserJodie Causer in action. Picture: Jodie Causer

I know that normally I'm one of those people that end up on the committee and will take on anything that needs organising. But I had the London Marathon to train for at the time and needed to concentrate on training for that.

After a year of just running I was on the committee. It's a fantastic club and I wanted to be a part of making it grow.

My first role was looking after the kit. I added a few new lines and found it a great way to meet lots of the club members.

I also assisted the race director in last year's Wroxham 5k series and this is where I found the love for organising races.

Action from the start of race two of the Wroxham 5K Series. Picture: Tony ThrussellAction from the start of race two of the Wroxham 5K Series. Picture: Tony Thrussell

The race director stood down at the end of race one so I jumped at the chance to take on the role.

I also knew that the club needed a new hub as we had outgrown where we were at Sewell Park.

I approached Sprowston Academy and got the ball rolling to move our club there. This took up quite a lot of time with meetings with the school and getting a well established club over to new premises. The move has definitely helped make the club grow as we can now offer more sessions with bigger and better facilities.

With a new venue required for our Broadland Half Marathon race due to the lack of parking my next mission was on so I started looking at potential new venues.

Action from the inaugural Ringland Half Marathon. Picture: ArchantAction from the inaugural Ringland Half Marathon. Picture: Archant

I have been a season ticket holder at Roarr Dinosaur park for nearly 10 years due to my job as a childminder and I visit the park on a weekly basis.

I always imagined it would be a great venue for a race so I decided to make it happen.

After several meetings with the management team at Roarr and nine months of planning the Ringland Half Marathon was created.

It was better than I could ever have imagined with it selling out in a day. I loved the whole planning of the race from designing the medals and T-shirts to putting a new route together.

I had some great help with coming up with a new route from Mick Powell and my partner Danny who knew the area well.

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Organising the race was a huge task, alongside family life with my two young boys, working four long days and trying to squeeze in some runs.

My house was overrun with race bits with boxes stacked in every room but it was well worth it. My day off was spent in meetings, site visits and spending several hours writing emails.

We have a great race team at Norwich Road Runners so there was plenty of help and support from the club too.

I decided to change our chip timing company as I found we were spending a lot of time with the admin side of the race entries.

Along came Jon Beverley from TRT. His fab new system saved me several hours of work stuffing brown envelopes. This made it a lot easier when prepping for a race.

After Ringland was over it was straight on to planning the Wroxham 5k series.

My first plan was to get rid of the turn into the school at the finish. This meant extra work getting the course re-measured and extending the road closure so we could finish out on the road.

The extra phone calls, emails and site visits were well worth it - watching it all come together this year was a huge buzz.

I also increased the limit to 1,000 with each race selling out. With the extended road closure and increased limit we needed to make the race as safe as possible so we had TMO traffic management come in and deal with the closure and manage the finish area. This definitely helped having them involved in the race.

Being a race director is a massive task but I absolutely love it.

I'm starting a new job in a few weeks which will give me more flexibility to have some time off when there is a race approaching.

I'm also mindful that I will be organising Ringland next year and training for the Manchester Marathon.

I hope to continue being the race director for Norwich Road Runners for as long as they will have me.

I've already got a new race in mind which I'm hoping to have on the race calendar next year.

I do love being busy...

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