Scott—a father, husband, swimmer, and cyclist—has been working together with Scot Harris for 15 years to put on cycling events. We have it on good authority that they put on the best organized cycling events in Colorado. Somehow they still find time to get out there and ride between events.
These two prove that two Scot(t)s are better than one.
We asked Scott-with-two-Ts to give us a peek at the world of race directing in the cycling world, and he shared with us his years of experience and passion for swimming and cycling.
Here you go... 10 Questions With A Race Director: Scott Olmsted.
Why in the world did you become a race director?
In High School and College I was a lifeguard at private pool in the summer. A member at the time – Scot Harris asked if I would help and teach his kids how to swim. The rest is history. Scot and I have become great friends and co-workers for 15 years now and have organized several of the largest cycling events in Colorado. Let’s just say it was meant to be.
How many events do you put on every year?
We put on four events a year, the Subaru Elephant Rock, the Subaru ERock Sunrise-Sunset, the i25 Kia Copper Triangle and the ICON Eyecare Tour of the Moon. It’s a great schedule, keeps us busy, but allows us to ride our bikes.
What do enjoy most about being an event organizer?
As an event director, you wear many hats, but what I enjoy the most is seeing everything come together. You work months in advance, and it’s always cool to see everything flourish on event day.
Your biggest fear on event day? Your greatest joy?
As an event director you have a lot of responsibility, but one of my biggest fears is having riders get lost on our courses. We make sure we mark the course and have a lot course marshals along the route, so no one feels alone.
My favorite part of my job is seeing all the riders crossing the finish line with a smile. Seeing them all setting a goal and accomplish something, whether its 100 miles, 78 miles, or 8 miles. At the Subaru Elephant Rock, we have a tradition to cheer on the last rider that crosses the finish line with a police escort. Every year the rider that finishes has the biggest smile…and that is what makes our job all worth it.
How long have you been an event organizer?
Since 2004, but have worked events since 1998.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when organizing your first event, what would it be and why?
Stay calm, something always goes unplanned and you just need to “stay ahead of the Freak” and make the best decision you can. Nothing is going to be perfect, just do your best.
What is your favorite activity?
Swimming and Cycling. I grew up swimming and swam collegiately. Still to this day swimming is one of my favorite things to do.
Where is your favorite place to host events?
What three things are absolutely essential for putting on a successful event?
1. Staff up – you never know what can happen and it's always good to staff up to help manage it
2. Put yourself in the eyes of the participant – Think about the experience from the beginning to the end, and make sure you cover all the details in between. Also, treat people how you would want to be treated.
3. Have fun. If you and your staff are not having fun, it shows. Participants want to have a good time and enjoy the experience. Dance, let loose, and have a good time.
Trail or Road? Cake or Ice-Cream?
Ummm Def ice cream, and love to be on the trail and ride on the road.