In this column, we begin a discussion on Athletics Event Security Management in this modern era. In order to understand the issues, we need to ask questions and look at security issues in recent sporting events.
Before the 1996 Olympics, the various domestic intelligence organizations were searching every nook and cranny in the U.S. for wack jobs, racial supremacists, anarchists and various delusional extremists, who could cause an issue or two with the Atlanta Olympics. A story related to me prior to Atlanta concerned an gentleman who ordered the bubonic plague to his home. Even in 1996, the domestic intelligence groups had this issue with citizens of this country who were not doing medical research ordering something that killed a hundred million a few centuries ago. When the afore mentioned security gents visited the garage of the bubonic plague enthusiast, and found a half dozen trash cans full to the brim with cattle dung. The bubonic plague enthusiast was thrown in jail for ninety days before the Atlanta Olympics. There were, according to my sources, several dozen Americans who had dreamed up ways to damage fans of the Olympics. Most of them spent the Olympics in various penal institutions across the U.S.
It’s about 7:30 pm local time on Aug. 16 as I write this column for our Summer issue and I’m in Rio to cover the athletics competition during the Olympic Games. The first day, Aug. 12, saw Molly Huddle set a new AR over 10,000m, 30:13.17, while placing sixth. On Friday night, Michelle Carter upset Valeria Adams in the shot put with a huge throw of 20.63m, which is also a new AR.
Note that we only send issues to USATF members or paid subscribers. USATF members will receive both the print and digital publication, sent to you via email. We will also be sending an e-newsletter around the middle of each month which will contain news of interest about the sport in the Golden State and beyond.
We’ve reposted this as we believe that it is an important read. We also believe that Seb Coe, whatever his blemishes, is the man to lead the sport. Note some of the questions that I asked. For the sport to regain its past stature the ability for the ban on Russia and possibly other countries must hold until there is true change. That does not happen in four months or six months. President Coe will now have to stand up, quite possibly to the IOC, who, some suggest wants Russia back into the athletic family by Rio. I think that the Melodonium crisis is telling us several things: a) WADA needs to do its job much better and b) IAAF has to have an investigative unit to disrupt doping pipelines and opportunities to use drugs made for real uses to be used to cheat in sports.
Seb Coe is great in front of a camera or an interviewer's recorder. Those are skills that a modern sports leader must possess. In the first nine months of his presidency, the sordid actions of the past administration have come out putting him on the defensive constantly. In that time, Coe has been blamed for everything but global warming. While Mr. Coe is not without sin, he is also someone who loves the sport, and possesses the skill set, I believe, to put the sport in the right direction.
I was fortunate to get five minutes with President Coe. In that time, I asked him seven questions, on drugs, on the challenges of the sport, on the Russian issues and he answered them with crisp answers, on topic and with thoughtful responses.
FIND THE INTERVIEW HERE
California hosted three important events between December 2015 and February 2016.
The USATF XC Club Championships held on Dec. 11 were a tremendous showcase of the sport, with over 1400 participants. Seeing the great runs on all levels on that wonderful day, One of my favorite moments was seeing Ben Rosario, proud coach of HOKA ONE ONE’s Northern Arizona elites, after his men won the team title and several individual top women.
During the IAAF Council Meeting on Thursday (10), Council decided the host cities for two 2018 IAAF World Athletics Series events.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson resigns from London 2017 Board after claiming she felt "a bit too tokenistic"Written by Duncan Mackay. Inside the games
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has become the latest person to resign from the Board of the company organising next year's International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in London because she claimed she felt "a bit too tokenistic".
Seventy runners plus one dog, on a 1,500 kilometer relay to deliver one pair of Diadora shoes! Diadora Making it Bright, by Larry Eder (sponsored by Diadora)Written by Super User
How many runners does it take to deliver one pair of Diadora N9000s?
Well, for this one lucky consumer in Barcelona, it took 70 runners plus one dog, a week to run, with package in hand, from Milano to Barcelona. The journey of 1,482 kilometers was captured on video, and in photos, by Diadora.
Hundreds of runners took to the streets of the Caribbean island of Barbados for the 33rd edition of the Run Barbados Series in December 2015. In fact, the revitalized and rebranded Run Barbados Marathon Weekend 2015 (RBMW) enjoyed almost 2000 entries as it re-launched its marathon and hosted four other races. The series, which recently regained its AIMS-IAAF certification, reaped the benefits of an international marketing effort and a new organizing team. Alan Brookes of Canada Running Series noted, “It is exciting to see Run Barbados back up and running, Barbados is such an awesome destination, I go way back with Run Barbados, I even created the slogan: “Come for the Run; Stay for the Fun!”
Scott Bush conducted the second interview in our Running USA Leadership Series is with Richard Hulnick. Named Race Manager of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation in June, Hulnick currently serves as the leader for the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, the largest turkey trot in the United States. In addition to his Thanksgiving Day duties, Hulnick also leads the organization's growth and management of two other races.
After working at the New York Road Runners for nearly a decade, then as a consultant for over two years, Hulnick brings a variety of skills to his new role. Whether it be working with charities and non-profits, developing sponsorship relationships, directing races, managing budgets or leading teams, Hulnick has become a renaissance man of sorts and looks to put his knowledge to good use in the Bay Area.
Running USA: You worked with the New York Road Runners for a number of years and have done some consulting in the sport, but how did you first get involved in the industry?
Hulnick: My background had been in investor and public relations, more of a financial communications background, and I had been working in that for a while. Just before I turned 30, I decided I needed to get in shape. I had tried to get into running for a while, but it just never happened. Then when I was either 28 or 29, I was living in Manhattan and became a member of the New York Road Runners. It really helped me get in shape and feel better, which in turn made me want to get involved.
At the same time, I was also a member of a local running group, where Peter Ciaccia (current President of Events and Race Director of the TCS New York City Marathon) was a member. I had known him even prior to joining NYRR. I talked to him a number of times and he let me know there was a position open and I ended up actually getting the it.
When I first started, I worked under Peter, I worked in membership, in classes, as well as with a couple of sponsors, including our only outside charity that had spots in the marathon. Pretty quickly after I got there, I was called into Mary Wittenberg’s office, and they asked me to create a program to provide spots to non-profits to help them raise money. There had been a smaller test program a year before and it was determined it was something the organization wanted to do.
Given my business background, they asked me to put the program together for that year. That was in June and the race is in November, so it was a quick turnaround. When I left it was a program that raised over $34 million per year for the 300+ non-profits that were competing in the marathon and other NYRR events.
While I was at the NYRR, my responsibilities grew. I worked on event budgeting. I managed the business side of registration for most every race. I managed our pace teams for the marathon, participant photography, brought in a few sponsors, including a sponsor for the Empire State Building Run-Up, a race I managed for a number of years.
The charity program was really meaningful and it was so nice that the race was able to provide such support to the non-profits involved. It was extremely meaningful and really helped me feel fulfilled.
Running USA: You then moved onto a consulting role. Why the professional shift and what sort of work were you doing?
Hulnick: There was a big transition at the New York Road Runners, with some of the old guard leaving and new folks coming in. I was part of that change. Seeing that coming, I looked at the industry and thought of how to continue to work in the space.
I loved working on events. When I left the Road Runners, I was very much viewed as the “charity guy,” but I knew I could offer so much more. It was a nice thing being out there, going to the Running USA (Industry) Conference and meeting other people, being able to explain that I could do so much more.
I did work with a number of non-profits on how to maximize a race, whether a charity had done a race before or had been putting one on. I was able to help build programs from the ground up. I also worked with some events and helped them put together programs and show them the value of working with community organizations. Not just for increasing revenue and the number of entrants, but also using it from the publicity side and how to work best with non-profits.
I consulted with Spartan Race and the San Francisco Marathon during this time, to name a few. It was something I really enjoyed, working on the event side and the non-profit side.
Running USA: Where have you seen some of the biggest shifts in the industry over the past few years?
Hulnick: You know, charity has really grown and I think it’s grown to a point where now things actually need to be structured for most races. Now it’s at the point where events are top heavy with charities and with so many requests, it’s hard for them to manage. It’s good to have the demand, but how do you balance a race with registrant numbers and charity participation? I’ve looked to the Rock ’n’ Roll Series and Run, Walk, Ride as being leaders in organizing and evolving the charity component of events.
As far as technology, it’s ever evolving, including wearable technology and tracking devices. It seems like every other week there is a new registration platform coming out. I’d really like to see the integration of registration and scoring.
Photography, is a model that’s really changed, with organizations like Gameface, using photography to generate revenue through sponsorship. You used to get those small pictures in the mail and asked to order your race photos, now they are given away free. I think photography is changing a lot.
People keep saying that running is nearing the end of the running boom, but I disagree. I think large companies are getting involved with the movement. It’s increasing the number of people moving and getting in shape. I think shorter events like The Color Run are great. They more people into the sport. People who have never really run do The Color Run, find out they really enjoy it, then go find a local 10K to do. It’s something maybe they never thought of before. It all builds on itself.
Running USA: You inherited the largest turkey trot in America and a very successful organization. What do you view as your organization’s strengths and needed areas of improvements?
Hulnick: What I’ve been brought in to do is to come in and adjust things. It’s not to totally shake things up unless I see there’s a need to change something. I really want to get through this year and then next year put my stamp on it.
The organization is a non-profit. Every dollar above the cost to run an event is given to one of our five non-profit beneficiaries. Last year we raised a little over $936,000 and this year our goal is to raise over $1 million dollars. Part of my goal is to keep that trend growing.
I also want to see how we can enhance the participant experience for the race. We do a good job already, but what else can we do to improve their experience? I want to look at how we can make it more compelling, in addition to adding different fundraising options.
The nice thing I see about this organization is that sponsors are very involved, helping with planning and supporting. I’ve never been at an organization where so many outside people were involved and championing the events. It’s actually pretty inspiring.
Running USA: The other two races you manager are much smaller by comparison. How do you see smaller races making a name for themselves with so much competition in the market place?
READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW HERE:
Sebastian Coe was elected as the sixth IAAF President at the 50th IAAF Congress in Beijing, China, on Wednesday (19).
The voting was as follows (207 Member Federations cast their votes): Sebastian Coe (GBR) 115 votes, Sergey Bubka (UKR) 92 votes.
"I am deeply honoured that our sport has placed its trust in me. There is no job I want to do more – nor with greater commitment," said Coe.
Among the first to congratulate Sebastian Coe were the current IAAF President Lamine Diack and Sergey Bubka, who was later elected as an IAAF Vice President.
"We have a man who has devoted his life to the sport." commented President Diack.
"I know that athletics in the future will grow, and become stronger and stronger," added Bubka.
Coe will take office on 31 August, after the end of the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015.
“I’m very flattered, very, very honoured to have been elected President. I haven’t had much of a chance to let it sink in,” commented Coe at a press conference later on Wednesday.
"It has been a long road. I joined an athletics club when I was 11, I had the joys of Olympic competition and I the joys of being able to put on one of the greatest sporting events ever, but this for me is the pinnacle, it's my sport, it's my passion, it's the thing I always wanted to do.
"Lamine has left us with an extraordinarily strong foundation and one aspect of that foundation is that we are a truly global sport. I will do my best to continue from those firm foundations.
Visit www.IAAF.org for more on this story.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados. July 28, 2015 -- Registration is off and running for the 2015 Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, which will again bring spectacle and entertainment to the streets of Barbados, from Dec. 4 - 6, 2015.