Moderator: Moderator Team
Thanks for any input
Don't' do stupid things like artificially put water on your course.
Sand is fun.
Basically make a fun course, have a good venue (places to change, food, drink, etc), maybe a live band playing during the race?
Good prise money always helps. Don't start your Elite women after the Men's cat 3 field... the fast women will be into the rear of that field in a half a lap and it isn't fair to make them fight through a bunch of douche bags who don't want to get beaten by a girl. Give them their own start time or run them 1min after the start of the Elite men (all this depends on how many people you have at your race).
Then make sure the course has plenty of places for the family to see their racer on course. Make sure there are clean toilets (even if they are porto-johns). Ideally the venue will have some form of indoor, heated facilities. But the key to any toilet is it has to be clean.
Provide a shelter for spectators who are not die-hard 'cross fans. Not everyone wants to watch their racer while standing ankle deep in mud and shivering in a freezing rain. Maybe a beer garden tent right along the start/finish straight.
Most people who race aren't going to be on the podium or finish in the money. So that won't keep them coming back. Making it a fun experience they can share is what will keep them coming back.
My personal thoughts to grow your cx race are
1) This can be difficult but a cross race should have a great venue, in my local series the venues range from a city park, to golf courses, to a YMCA camp.
2) The race should have a well planed course, even get some other racers to help plan a course months in advance, and dial it in before race day.
3) promotion via facebook, twitter and a blog for the race help with "hype" and keep people interested in your race.
4) beer food dj, people like beer at cx races, (I don't drink) food vendor and live music are also great to have but can require permits and extra work.
Good luck, letmus know how it turns out.
If you have prizes, make sure there are some draw prizes that anyone can win.
I have often preferred races (and maybe this goes against the type of race you are running), but races that don't follow the standard multi-lap format typical CX format. There a couple of fun local events designed for CX bikes, but are much longer format races (40-60km).
Lots of junk food to pig out on after the race. Belgian theme, fries and mayo would be cool.
Mark the best spectator locations on course map. When my wife comes out to races she never knows where the interesting places are to go watch because she doesn't ride the course. One race did a beer tent on either side of a series of barriers, that was awesome.
Location is key. Far too many organizers trying to turn parks with boring terrain into race courses. They are often as boring as you might expect. My favourite races mix in some singletrack, lots of different terrains and one even left down trees in the woods as a barrier.
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