Linda and I enjoyed some recent hospitality and chocolate chip cookies with Chris and Ashley McBratney, two of the principles in Eastern Nebraska’s newest timing/event management company. This morning a more proper introduction:
Will: Why’d you guys decide to start a race timing/event management company?
run nebraska: This is something we’ve thought about doing for some time. We like being involved in the running community, and have enjoyed the more administrative aspects ever since we started volunteering as race organizers, so we thought we’d take it to the next step and launch run nebraska.
Will: What kind of expertise does run nebraska bring to the table?
run nebraska: We have a really diverse group. Some of us are really avid runners, while others are more recreational. Between the 5 of us, we’ve served as Race Directors and volunteers for a number of events, coordinating every detail. We also have some very strong IT experience, which gives us a lot of credibility when it comes to running and troubleshooting any timing system from a hardware and software standpoint.
Will: What makes run nebraska different from other timers in the area?
run nebraska: What we bring to the table. As I mentioned before, we are a very diverse group. This helps us cover our clients in all aspects of a race. We also have a great relationship. Every employee is also an owner within the organization. We’re friends, we’re neighbors, we’re co-workers, and we’re like family. We believe the relationship and trust level we have with one another will really shine through in our service to clients.
Will: What type of experience are you trying to create for the runners and Race Directors?
run nebraska: This is a really interesting question. While, on one hand, we want to be very invisible on race day, we also want to be a resource that can be utilized for Race Directors in case they need some additional support. From our experience, there is sometimes only one person that shows up to time an event. We want to create an experience that is very professional, put-together and resourceful so that the race organizers don’t have to worry about as much. From the runner’s perspective, we really want our personality and culture to shine through, especially on social media. While we’re a timing company first, we want to engage with runners and race organizers, helping promote races throughout the area, whether we’re timing them, or not. We create fun content on our social media platforms, write a weekly blog and do weekly giveaways to create a different dynamic than most timing companies.
Will: What type of runners do you look to cater to with the races you’ll be launching?
run nebraska: We will be able to cater to runners of any level – first-timers to elites. It’s equally fun watching someone complete their first race, while also watching the elites run some ridiculous times. Because of that, we want to partner with the race organizers so that they can accommodate runners of all levels and experience.
Will: What services does run nebraska provide?
run nebraska: We offer race timing (using RFID chip-timing technology), race photography and event management. We also have branded merchandise available on our website.
Will: How did you come up with the name “run nebraska”?
run nebraska: We wanted clean, simple and easy to recognize. When someone thinks about racing, running or event timing, we wanted something that would be relevant and something that people can connect with.
Will: How can people engage with you?
run nebraska: We’re active on both Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/runnebraskallc/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/runnebraskallc). There’s a lot of content that we try to put on both platforms to create a fun, energetic and engaging atmosphere for those that follow us so that we can bring the running community closer together and help promote area events. We also have a website at www.run-ne.com. Here, clients can contact us, read a little about our organization, and purchase an item or two from the shop.
Will: What is the ideal race/event for you to work with?
run nebraska: Our vision was to cater to races of all sizes, but especially those that need additional expertise and may not garner the attention of the larger race timing companies. Since we have 5 very engaged Partners in the day-to-day operations of the business, we can offer a very customized race day experience for both runners and race organizers.
Will: How would you describe the personality and culture of run nebraska?
run nebraska: While we take what we do very seriously, we also have a lot of fun. We are detail nerds, but we also don’t take ourselves too seriously, especially when it comes to engaging with the outside world. Life’s too short to not have fun and, when you create that kind of environment, everyone’s happier and has a better time.
Will: When do you plan to launch run nebraska’s first race?
run nebraska: We’re working on logistics now, but we’re hoping to launch our first race around the summer of 2018. We have a really great idea and concept in mind and, provided we get the necessary cooperation from the city we’re targeting, we’re hoping that can be a reality.
Will: What kind of system (hardware and software) are you using? Why’d you choose that company?
run nebraska: We’re using the Jaguar Platinum RFID reader. Not only did we feel really comfortable with the hardware and how the system functions, the software is really state-of-the-art and very intuitive. By using the It’s Your Race platform (www.itsyourrace.com) allows us to process results faster for the Race Director, includes a free mobile app and the ability to fundraise for the organization through the registration process.
Will: How can people get in contact with you?
run nebraska: We can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and phone (402.512.1880), or through social media (https://www.facebook.com/runnebraskallc/ https://twitter.com/runnebraskallc).