Monday, October 14, 2013

Race Packet Pick Up Service Survey Results

Last year, after having to drive to Long Beach on Friday for packet pick up and again on Sunday for the race, I came up with the idea for a Race Packet Pick Up Service. I posted a survey and asked my running followers on twitter to take the survey, here are the results....some of them may surprise you.


To research whether or not the running community thought there was a need for a service that would pick up your race packet and have it available for you on race morning for a
nominal fee. We set up a survey (5 questions) and then asked for people to take the survey via twitter. We targeted runners and triathletes in this survey. We received 99 responses (limit on Survey Monkey) to the survey and 31 comments.

Click on each image to enlarge.


Races already cost enough. Plus merchandise. Don't want to pay more just to get my race packet.
11/27/2012 12:52 AMView Responses

Packet pickup is a social event in my town.
11/26/2012 7:24 PMView Responses

If all races allowed packet pickup on race day - This would eliminate the need for a packet delivery service.
11/16/2012 12:14 AMView Responses

There needs to be a happy medium between the races and the racers in terms of packet pick up. With the cost of gas, traffic, time off from work, I would rather pick up my packet on race morning. I would be interested in this service.
11/16/2012 11:47 AMView Responses

Number four, I wouldn't pay for this unless under extreme circumstances.
11/13/2012 12:02 AMView Responses

It would have to be a very special race for me to go to a race with a separate day pick-up packet deal. There isn't one in the US that I would do that for, but I know I'm not mainstream. I'd rather run up and down a mountain with my buddies than run an organized race most of the time.
11/12/2012 6:55 PMView Responses

Yes we are hard workers, family members and we don't have the time to pick it up. This service will be great.
11/10/2012 8:07 PMView Responses

I automatically (at least, so far) start looking for another race whenever I come to the part about "packet pickup will not be available on race day morning" - to me, that's just local influence trying to force people to spend $ on hotels, meals, blah, blah. to improve the local economy. I have gone out of town overnite just for a goal race, but not often.
11/10/2012 5:31 PMView Responses

The only time I would consider using a service to save me a trip is for a large race (Cleveland or Akron marathon) that would save me from the hassles of parking and large crowds. I generally sign up for smaller races near my house.
11/10/2012 5:05 PMView Responses

I just wouldn't pay for something like this......doesn't make sense to me...... :)
11/10/2012 4:45 PMView Responses

In the age of the internet, I should not have to go to the expo at all, nor should I have to pay for a service to to mitigate the luddite tendencies of race directors.
11/10/2012 1:41 PMView Responses

If you're asking the question, then maybe it's a service that is needed. I personally have not run into the problem, but I tend to like small races that don't have these kinds of logistical problems.
11/10/2012 1:31 PMView Responses

I would prefer that they mail the packet to me vs have it available for me to pick up on race morning. One of the races I run does this for $10.
11/10/2012 11:49 AMView Responses

There is a need for races to send race packets through the mail or FEDEX to avoid personal pickup, but then, a potential business wouldn't benefit from this.
11/9/2012 10:12 PMView Responses

If its big enough to have an expo prior to race day, I'll probably travel there prior to race day anyway.
11/9/2012 8:35 PMView Responses

There is a need for races to allow for day-of pickup, not a need for further gouging of often exorbitant race prices.
11/9/2012 5:30 PMView Responses

Having volunteered at packet pick up numerous times, there are always people who send a friend, spouse, parent or someone to pick up their stuff. I wouldn't anticpate the number willing to pay for that being very large
11/9/2012 1:27 PMView Responses

Packet pickup needs to be tightly integrated into the race day, and we should end all these separate pre-race pickups. Think of the carbon footprint of everyone who drives to a destination the day before simply to get their bib. There must be some means of getting the bib/chip to the runner that doesn't require yet another car trip.
11/9/2012 1:26 PMView Responses

I think there is a need for this service that would help some out of town runners, or those that simply cannot make it to the race expo. I would still want to go to the expo whenever I can for the experience, but it would be nice to have this as an option if the situation requires it.
11/9/2012 11:45 AMView Responses

I would pay maybe $2 - $5.
11/9/2012 11:13 AMView Responses

Maybe not all within the "racing community" but within the casual runners community too. Target big races with frustrating expo rules (e.g. Dallas Marathon previously White Rock). I'm in!
11/9/2012 11:08 AMView Responses

I probably wouldn't use it, but some folks might.
11/9/2012 11:02 AMView Responses

I feel there is a need for races to be more flexible in letting others pick up packets for friends with just a written/emailed correspondence.
11/9/2012 8:08 AMView Responses

One of my favorite parts about races - particularly larger races - is the expo. I like the experience of picking up my packet and checking out goodies from sponsors and vendors. I also like having everything the day before a race so I can be well prepared when I get to the start race day morning. That being said, I also understand how sometimes travel delays can prevent a runner from making it to the expo and then how are they supposed to get their race packet?
11/9/2012 7:08 AMView Responses

Although inconvenient at times I like getting my own packet as part of the experience. That being said Im a student who also works full time so its not always easy. Race organizers should be more cognizant of hiw far people are willing to travel and the fact that they have lives outside their passion for running.
11/9/2012 6:57 AMView Responses

The price would be a big factor. At $10, it would be a no-brainer. $15 or $20 could be justified if one has to pay for parking at the expo - a $10 parking fee would make a $15 pickup fee seem like a bargain. For my personal budget, I hate to add to the cost of races, but I avoid races that don't have race-day pickup, and it would be nice to now have an option for people like me. Some races now mail out packets in advance for a fee, so keep an eye on that as they are basically going to compete with this service.
11/9/2012 6:37 AMView Responses

I instituted a "FastReg" VIP service at a race I promoted. I charged $35 to MAIL you your bag/t-shirt and provide front-row parking. Lots used it. More events need to think this way.
11/9/2012 6:35 AMView Responses

I'd pay $5
11/8/2012 10:58 PMView Responses

I prefer having the packet mailed. I would pay $10 for that service.
11/8/2012 10:28 PMView Responses

Races are already too expensive. Don't add another cost to it. Most races have day of packet pickup, anyways.
11/8/2012 10:23 PMView Responses

I think its only on occasion that most people would need it but I like the idea of having a back-up, especially when socal traffic catches you off guard and you miss pick up by a few minutes. Shoot, I can check in online for flights! I think race day pick up should always be offered for the smaller events.
11/8/2012 6:24 PMView Responses

Not sure I would really want to pay for it. I would just rather the organizers would allow it to be picked up by a friend. But if it saved me a hotel for the night, i would pay for it.
11/8/2012 4:34 PMView Responses


Judging by the survey results and speaking with people in the running/triathlon community, there appears there is some interest in this service. It seems that the ideal price point is $10, but I think $15 could be acceptable. I was surprised at answer #2 and the amount of people that have not signed up for a race because they couldn't pick up their packet on race day I think the bigger picture is that races need to come up with a plan to either allow same day pick up or have an option to receive your packet via mail. I understand that having same day pick up for a large race is near impossible, but some of the small to mid size races, it could be feasible. Large races could do well with the mail option, which I know some races are now doing.

I did reach out to about a dozen race directors, from large, well known races, to smaller, local races. I had a couple of responses from the smaller race directors, one said they already offer race day pick up and the others said there wasn't enough demand and they weren't interested. I didn't get any
responses from the larger races. I did get to sit down with the race director of a medium sized Marathon/Half marathon who gave me some great feedback and ideas as well as some concerns. 
After the lack of interest from the races/race directors (they play an important role in this service), I put this idea on the back burner. I have decided to publish the results for everyone to read in hopes that race directors will get a feel for people want in order to make a better race experience.

I welcome your thoughts or comments….