Event Adjudicating - the 'before, during and after' of race day events by Dave Huck

ramathon start

I, Dave Huck,  have been asked if I could do a blog regarding my role as a volunteer 'Event Adjudicator' at runbritain licenced races.

I have the honour of being a life time member of Windsor, Eton, Slough and Hounslow AC and over my running years I completed 15 London marathons with scores of other races including running on the track.


Since retiring from running competitively in 2007 I turned to officiating at races as this still allows me to travel all over the country and meet lots of wonderful people.

I carry out the Event Adjudicator role in three stages -pre race, race and post-race. 

Pre-race preparation and planning - I either get a call from the race organiser and/or notification via the runbritain web site. Assuming it’s a new race to me;I will make contact with the race organiser and arrange a meeting prior to the race. I will also ask them to send me all of the race information so that I can read this prior to the meeting. This sometimes means I will travel to the area of the race and I do try and organise meetings when I know I’m in the area.

I go through all the requirements required and I ensure that the race organiser is clear on what I would like to see on the day, as well as discussing anything that I may not be sure about. I will check the medical situation, Marshall Points, risk assessment and the required certificates. This meeting gives the race organiser a chance to ask me questions. Sometimes it’s outside the England Athletics box. However as an experienced runner I am able to feedback my thoughts and pass on things that other races do well.

I find out as much as possible about the race. Right down to the prize list. Why would I do that? Well as someone in a hi viz jacket, runners and supporters always ask questions from where to change, to where the toilets are and what time the presentation is.

These conversations will continue right up to the day of the race.

Meeting before the race saves the race organiser valuable time on race day and enables myself and the race organiser get to know each other.

Race Day - I travel mainly to Buxton, Derby, Nottingham, Cambridge, Northampton, Milton Keynes and as faras Epsom. Having arrived at a venue at least 1.5 to 2 hours prior to the race, I will make my way to race control and try to meet the race organiser or at least let the race control know that I have arrived. Having already met the race organiser previously it’s normally a stress free meeting. I try not to get in their way as they have a million other things to do.

I then do my walkabout and check everything is ok. Hopefully by having had a meeting earlier everything should be in place and I would say 99% of the time things are. I will then try to attend the marshals’ briefing in order to confirm both verbal and written instructions have been given. Then it’s on to the medical team and check all is per their risk assessments (having been an Event Adjudicator where runners have suffered heart attacks) I want to be clear in my own mind all is well. By now it’s time for a cup of tea with a bacon roll I hope!

Where ever possible I will run the race. I ensure that I am last over the line and I then see how far up the field I can get. All the time seeing where marshals are and thanking them. By running the course I’m able to feedback to the race organiser any concerns or suggestions for the race in the future. When the race is all over I will see the medical teams, for any issues, race control and then the race organiser. This usually consists of a quick chat and a fond farewell.

Post-race evaluation and feedback - .After the race I will write up my report for runbritain, and thenI will confirm by e-mail to the race organiser that I have submitted my report and thank them and their team for their hospitality. This also allows them to come back to me if they have any concerns on my report.

Whilst I know it’s not everyone’s way of adjudicating at a race I feel that it suits me. By having that first meeting with the race organiser and giving them answers to the questions we report back on, I seldom have any problems in a race. For me it’s about being prepared before the day.

Like most people,I do this as a volunteer, putting something back into the sport. This year I have done over 1,600 miles and if any race organiser reads this I’m cheap to run, I just ask for tea and bacon rolls! All the race organisers I have met have been wonderful and I feel we have always got on. I will happily continue with the role I enjoy.

I would also like to thank thefollowing for their support when I have had questions to ask: Gavin Lightwood, Mike Burgoyne and John Skevington.