After thousands of hours logged as a volunteer and race official, Mary Anderson gathered her skills and her gear and formed Anderson Race Management. Since 1996, Mary’s been involved with more than 200 events each year, including Ragnar Relay, Autism 5K, Get Your Rear in Gear Race Series, Heartbeat 5000, and Securian Winter Run, and many other races all over the Mid-West. Mary is a veteran of many marathons, including the Boston Marathon, and still finds time to personally participate in races herself. She has served on numerous boards and race committees around Minnesota and has most recently been appointed to the Board of Directors for Girls On The Run – Twin Cities.
Can you tell us a little bit about all of your events?
That would take quite a while! Anderson Race Management does about 150 fully-managed events every year. From small, 100-participant 5K fun runs to multi-distance races with thousands of runners, we have something going on every month of the year.
How did you personally get started in the industry?
I started Anderson Race Management in 1996 after serving in various volunteer roles of hundreds of races. I literally worked out of the back of a van and timed my first race in 1994.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love interacting with all of the different groups we work with on a daily basis. Helping them make a difference, further their mission, and impact the community is important to me. There’s nothing better than seeing a successful event raise money for a worthwhile cause.
What’s your least favorite thing about what you do?
It’s hard to deal with crabby participants, and recruiting volunteers can be challenging! You have to get creative to be successful for both of those things, and approach each event differently.
How long have you been working with ChronoTrack?
This is our fifth season working with ChronoTrack, so we’ve been with them for quite a few years.
What are three things you like best about ChronoTrack?
The top three features I like best about ChronoTrack are on-site computerized registration, disposable tags, and mobile results. Each of these helps up operate faster and provide better customer service to our participants. With more and more people expecting information instantaneously, ChronoTrack Live helps us to achieve that by having on-site results kiosks and mobile results.
What is one trick you’ve learned in the ChronoTrack system that has helped you do something better?
We save so much time by using on-site check-in and not having to pre-label race packets for pick up. Our clients are impressed with on-site check-in and participants love it, too. It’s really fast and efficient, and saves us so much time in busy work.
What is the most practical, hands-on advice you would give a newbie?
This industry has a lot of layers. I would tell someone just starting out in the industry to take on a little bit at a time, and don’t try to learn all of the pieces at once. Be patient and continually get advice from people who have been doing this for a while.
What’s your favorite race and why?
That’s easy: We’re based in Minnesota, so all of our races with nice weather!
What are your goals for 2015 and onward?
My big goal for 2015 is to get more people trained on using the ChronoTrack timing system and make sure they feel comfortable with it. We want to capitalize on every opportunity we have to run these events efficiently, and this technology will help us do that.
To learn more about Anderson Race Management, click here.
To learn more about ChronoTrack, contact us.