Avid runners, cancer survivors, and entrepreneurs—this is one husband-and-wife team you’ll want to meet. We spoke with Hank Brown of We Run Events about how he and his wife Natalie teamed up to manage the company, why he loves what he does, his advice for newbies, and more in this customer salute.

Name: Hank Brown & Natalie Whitlock
Company: We Run Events, LLC
Roles: Owners/Managers
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Can you tell us a little bit about We Run Events, LLC?

We Run Events, LLC is an event management organization specializing in sports management. Located in Bristol, TN, we manage events in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and surrounding areas, including: the Crazy 8s 8k Run, The Haunted Half Marathon, the Shamrock 4 Miler, The Johnson City Turkey Trot, the Bristol Half & Half Marathon, and many others.

How did you personally get started in the industry?

I have been a long-time runner and started directing races back in the early 90s on a volunteer basis. I came up with the Crazy 8s races and continued to do that for quite some time. Then in 2005/2006, I formed a small company with another partner and it sort of took on a life of is own and we started to direct lots of races.

When my partner decided to step down, Natalie and I renamed the company to We Run Events and continued to expand the company. We hadn’t planned for it to grow the way it did—we both have full time jobs and manage the races on the side in our free time.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

We really like helping groups put on a fantastic event. We truly enjoy supporting a good cause and working with charities and non-profits to ensure it’s a great experience for everyone involved.

Plus, being avid runners ourselves, we can relate to other runners and know what they expect from a running event. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and attention to detail. It makes us feel good when runners have a positive and fun experience at our events.

What’s your least favorite thing about what you do?

Putting on an event can be hard work and the late nights just prior to the race and the early morning on race day is tough. It’s just a matter of finding a balance with it all and being able to make time for your personal life.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a newbie coming into the industry?

One thing we’ve learned is to treat your crew fairly and show them lots of appreciation for their hard work. Be very professional at all times. And remember that you’re only as good as your last race—treat each individual race as if it was the most important one.

What’s your favorite race and why?

We’re quite fond of the Crazy 8s race because it was the first race we started with back in 1990. It’s a very special race that is world-renowned for its unique figure 8 course, candlelit streets, and thrilling stadium finish. Huge crowds gather along the course to cheer for the 4,000 runners that participate in it. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of Crazy 8s, with 25 years of awesome and “crazy” memories!

How long have you worked with ChronoTrack?

We started working with ChronoTrack back in 2010. We started off small and invested the time to really learn how it all worked. Then in 2014, we switched over to ChronoTrack Live—we love it and wouldn’t switch back.

What are the three biggest benefits of working with ChronoTrack?

The biggest three benefits are:

  1. ChronoTrack’s team is very professional and approachable. They truly take an interest in our personal situations and are always there to help answer any questions.
  2. The quality of the equipment and programs is fantastic.
  3. ChronoTrack Live is very logical and easy to use. The runners love receiving those text messages with their live results.

Would you recommend ChronoTrack to others?

Yes, we would definitely recommend ChronoTrack to anyone in the industry. ChronoTrack Live is everything in one program and that really does make things a lot easier. It’s very user friendly, unlike other programs, which have some black holes.

What are your goals for 2015?

Our company grew so much and so quickly and we want to continue with our success. We would like to hire some additional staff to assist us with all of our upcoming events.

To learn more about We Run Events, LLC, click here.

To learn more about ChronoTrack, contact us.