Dave McGovern's World Class Racewalking Clinics
World Class Racewalking Clinic in Waverly, NE
Hosting a Racewalking Clinic

Hey! A 3-ring circus like a racewalking clinic doesn't happen on its own. A great racewalking clinic needs a great host/hostess. The host takes care of the "on-the-ground" stuff that I couldn't possibly do myself:

check    Finding a track and classroom—usually a "real" classroom in a school, gym, office, hospital, running store, REI, etc., but sometimes just a big living room in a home with a TV;

check    Helping to promote things locally through fliers at races, newspaper announcements, contacting the local running and walking clubs, etc;

check    Collecting "paper" registrations from participants—although most registrations these days come to me through my online entry portals.

The host will also usually host a pasta dinner on Friday evening to help ease everyone into the weekend, although if this is impossible we sometimes do without. For this, the host gets a free clinic for him/herself (and my undying gratitude and that of the participating walkers!)

I charge $195 a head (for early birds), $225 within two weeks, for a 2 1/2-day clinic (Friday evening from about 6:30-9:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). I take all of my expenses out of that (airfare, etc.). I also pay for supplies for the pasta dinner. If at all possible I usually stay with the host or at another participants house to cut down on my expenses.

I need a minimum of 15 paid participants to get my plane ticket (although I like to shoot for 25 or so, with a maximum of 32), and to get a cheap fare I try to book 2-3 weeks out, so it's important to start promoting early. A lot of participants will find you via my web site, but about half will usually come from the local area. If you think you have enough racewalkers and marathon walkers in your area to support a clinic, drop me an email.

Things to do:

check    After settling on a date, Dave will create a pdf registration form/flier, and set up online entry. Get the word out! Drop some forms at the local running store and health clubs., etc., but one-on-one contact with local walkers at races is the best way to promote the clinic.
check    Send the registration form and a press release to the local papers and try to arrange for a story on racewalking to help stir up interest!

check    Check on a local track and arrange for a classroom. As long as the track doesn't have a track meet or football/soccer game on it on clinic weekend, we don't need to reserve exclusive access. In most cases we just "walk on" which will reduce a lot of red-tape.

check    Depending on clinic size, the classroom can be a living room in the host's house, or a classroom in a school, gym, hospital, running store or other business.

check    Arrange for a host hotel (most hotels will provide a discount and sometimes a conference room!) or a list of local hotels with rates.

check    Create a map with locations of the pasta dinner, track and classroom, in relation to hotels.

check    Be creative! Every location is different. Take advantage of local businesses and other local attractions to put your own stamp on the clinic. Trumpeting the unique qualities of your local area will help bring in out-of-town walkers.