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Race Director Symposium opened Friday at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

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• Race Director Symposium Coverage Page

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —
With an eye on collaborating and planning for the upcoming multisport race season, the 2012 USA Triathlon Race Director Symposium opened Friday at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs.

The two-day event kicked off with Friday’s keynote speaker, Tony Pedeferri, a Paralympic cycling hopeful and former California Highway Patrol officer who was injured in a routine traffic stop. Through his inspirational story, Pedeferri encouraged symposium participants to seize each day to create enjoyable race experiences for all competitors.

USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach then took center stage for his “State of the Sport” presentation.

“I’ve learned a lot to take home to Buffalo on how to market our own events,” said four-time attendee Dan Horan of Buffalo, N.Y., who was excited to learn about the growth of the sport outlined in Urbach’s presentation.

The rest of the day was filled with presentations on topics ranging from officials’ certification to event sponsorship to environmental initiatives. Additionally, the USA Triathlon staff revealed the new sanction application for 2012.

“Being a part of the race director community is really important when you’re putting on events or in the industry in any aspect,” said three-time symposium attendee Kristi Fitzgerald of Highlands Ranch, Colo. “It’s great to meet people who are in this unique industry. I also like learning about what’s happening with USAT and what the new rules are, what’s up and coming. It helps when you’re trying to plan events.”

The day concluded with a reception for all attendees, hosted by Active Network.

For relative newcomers to the industry like Kate Gooderham of Fort Myers, Fla., this weekend offers the chance to connect with a number of veteran race directors.  

“I became a certified race director in May, and put on my first race in September,” Gooderham said. “Although it was extremely successful, I realized I had a lot to learn. I figured not only could I learn from the sessions, but I could learn from my fellow race directors, some who have 20 or 30 years of experience,”

A second full day kicks off Saturday with the annual Fun Run, sponsored by SweatVac. Those out-of-towners ready to tackle the 6,000-foot-plus altitude of Colorado Springs will take off for a 3-plus mile run around the grounds of Cheyenne Mountain Resort at 7 a.m.

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