A Race Director Explains How Race Planning Works, Elite Energy CEO Emmo Emerton

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Only onto episode 2 and we are interviewing a legend of the sport of triathlon here in Australia! We get into it all, from his background, to what keeps him so passionate about the sport, his thought on competitors like Ironman. Plus Daren tries his hardest to convince Emmo/Elite Energy to run cyclocross races.

Putting on races is time-consuming.

Putting on races is a time-consuming task that requires meticulous planning and coordination. This is evident in the podcast transcript, where Mark M.O. Emerton, the CEO of Elite Energy, discusses the various aspects involved in organizing endurance events.

According to Emerton, the majority of the hard work is done before the events take place. This includes obtaining approvals from councils, police, and road authorities. These approvals are essential to ensure the safety and smooth running of the races. Dealing with the bureaucratic processes of obtaining permits and permissions can be time-consuming and requires attention to detail.

In addition to the logistical aspects, Emerton emphasizes the importance of considering the needs of different stakeholders involved in the races. This includes athletes, volunteers, and the general public. Ensuring that all parties are taken care of requires careful planning and consideration. This may involve coordinating with local communities, closing roads, and ensuring the events do not disrupt the daily lives of residents.

The podcast also touches upon the challenges faced in different locations. Emerton mentions that there is a small group of people who love triathlon, while others are less enthusiastic. Working with councils and communities to gain their support and cooperation can be a challenging task. However, Emerton states that coastal towns are generally more receptive to hosting endurance events due to their health-conscious and fitness-oriented populations.

One interesting question raised in the podcast is why there haven’t been any triathlons in Sydney City since 2011-2012. Emerton explains that the main issue is the cost of closing roads and road networks in the city. The expense involved in organizing races in urban areas like Sydney City is often not justified by the returns generated. The high cost and lack of significant financial gains make it challenging to host triathlons in the heart of the city.

Passion for triathlon and community.

One of the main themes that emerges from the podcast is the passion for triathlon and the sense of community it fosters. The speaker, who is the CEO of Elite Energy, expresses his love for the sport and the satisfaction of being able to turn his passion into a business. He emphasizes the pride and satisfaction that people derive from participating in triathlons and how it sets them apart from other sports.

The speaker also discusses the transformative power of triathlons, not just physically but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He shares personal anecdotes about his own journey from being a overweight school kid to becoming a triathlete. This personal experience drives his motivation to create opportunities for others to experience the same sense of accomplishment and personal growth.

Furthermore, the speaker highlights the impact that triathlons have on the communities where they are held. He mentions taking events to smaller towns and locations that may not typically host triathlons. By doing so, he brings the sport to new areas and introduces the local community to the world of triathlon. This not only provides a unique experience for participants but also boosts tourism and economic activity in these regions.

The speaker’s dedication to the sport and his commitment to creating memorable experiences for participants is evident throughout the podcast. He mentions the extensive planning and logistics involved in organizing races, including obtaining approvals from local councils and ensuring that events do not clash with major races like Ironman. This attention to detail demonstrates his commitment to providing the best possible experience for participants.

In terms of competition, the speaker takes a humble approach. He acknowledges the presence of larger races like Ironman but sees them as complementary to his own events. He refers to Ironman as the “big boys” and positions his organization, Elite Energy, as the “Hungry Jacks” to their “McDonald’s.” This analogy highlights his focus on creating a unique and enjoyable experience for participants rather than trying to compete directly with larger, more established races.

Triathlon events promote community participation.

The podcast transcript highlights the speaker’s dedication to promoting community participation in the sport of triathlon. They express their desire to bring the sport to communities that may not have the opportunity to experience it otherwise. By organizing events and providing the infrastructure for people to participate, the speaker aims to hook individuals onto the sport and create a lasting interest.

The speaker acknowledges that once someone gets into triathlon, it is hard to get out of it. This highlights the addictive nature of the sport and the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction it brings to participants. Triathlons are not just races, but a way of life for many individuals who continue to participate in multiple events throughout the year. The speaker acknowledges this and expresses their own personal connection to the sport.

The speaker also discusses the various formats of triathlons, including duathlons and biathlons, and mentions the possibility of adding cyclocross races to their event lineup. They emphasize the importance of considering new events and formats to cater to the diverse interests of the triathlon community. This demonstrates their commitment to providing unique and exciting experiences for participants.

Furthermore, the speaker mentions their involvement in organizing off-road triathlons and owning the Exterra brand in Australia. This illustrates their dedication to expanding the triathlon community and bringing the sport to different environments and terrains.

In addition to triathlons, the speaker mentions their recent venture into organizing a yoga festival. This shows their holistic approach to promoting health and well-being, further enhancing the sense of community and inclusivity within the triathlon events they organize.

The speaker also addresses the potential expansion into ultra marathons, acknowledging the growing trend in trail running and long-distance events. While they express some concerns about the organizational challenges and risks associated with longer distance events, they indicate their willingness to explore this area further. This demonstrates their commitment to adapting to the changing trends in the sport and catering to the interests of the triathlon community.


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