Risk Management for Race Director's at Events

by IOA

As a multisport race director, you will be the first to respond to any incidents that arise during your event. The cycling segment, in particular, carries a high risk of accidents. How can you effectively mitigate these inherent risks?


Volunteers are a crucial part of your race. However, their experience levels can vary significantly. Some may be new to volunteering at multisport events, while others have extensive experience either from volunteering or participating in such events. During the pre-race briefing, identify which volunteers are experienced and which are novices. Assign more experienced volunteers to critical points on the bike course where their skills will be most beneficial. For instance, a volunteer with racing experience can better judge the speed of approaching cyclists at an intersection and effectively communicate with police, pedestrians, and participants. Additionally, instruct all volunteers to watch for natural road hazards like rocks, debris, sand, and gravel, particularly in turns.


Pedestrians and vehicles present significant risks to participants on the bike course. Since most courses are not entirely closed to traffic and may have pedestrian crossings, you, as the race director, need to ensure volunteers prioritize safety when managing vehicular and pedestrian traffic. High-risk areas, such as busy intersections away from the start/finish line, require special attention. Ensure volunteers communicate effectively with police, if present, and provide volunteers with orange vests and flags for traffic control when police are not available.

Additionally, since most spectators gather near the transition area and start/finish line, instruct volunteers to stay vigilant for pedestrians attempting to cross the bike course. Often, pedestrians are inattentive or misjudge the speed of approaching cyclists, leading to potential collisions. Volunteers should be trained to manage these situations conservatively to ensure the safety of all participants.

Multisport race directors aim to ensure that all participants have a fun and safe race. While they work hard to control as much of the venue as possible, they rely heavily on their team and volunteers to guarantee the race's success. Although it's impossible to eliminate all risks inherent in multisport events, incorporating these practices into your risk management strategy increases the likelihood of an incident-free event.

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