Customer Salute: Red Dirt Race Management: Running specialty stores and a whole lot more

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We travel ’round the globe (OK, mostly just the U.S.) asking our customers to share their stories with us, so we can learn more about how they’re getting things done. Here is the latest edition of our Customer Salute series, featuring a Q&A with Red Dirt Race Management.

Name: Ben Sigle
Company:
Red Dirt Race Management
Role:
Co-Owner with Trey Vernon
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Can you tell us a little bit about Red Dirt Running?

Red Dirt is a timing and race management company that operates out of Kansas and Nebraska. We’ve been timing races since 2008 and provided timing services to about 75 races in 2014. We’ve been growing rapidly in that area of our business—we timed 50 events in 2013 and only 20 in 2012.

The race management side to our business has only been around since the end of 2012. We timed 75 events in 2014. We owned 8 of the 75 and managed 2 of the 75 events. We are busy enough with the timing side of the business at this point that the event has to be fairly large for us to manage it.

How did you personally get your start in the business?

My dad was a track and cross-country coach for 33 years, so I definitely was raised with a love of the sport. I learned how to time races from him—he had his own software. When we opened our first running store, Manhattan Running Company, we began putting on a few race of our own with the help of my dad. More and more people began to ask us to time their races after they saw what we were doing, and Red Dirt was founded from there. We began by hand timing the races and then eventually bought our ChronoTrack timing systems.

What is your favorite thing about what you do?

I just enjoy being around the race process. Yes, working with events helps promote our store, but it’s very fulfilling to see people so happy because they’re accomplishing goals.

What is your least favorite thing about what you do?

This is not a Monday-to-Friday job, so it pulls me away from my family on the weekends sometimes. It’s not too bad because I get help from my team and we hire people when necessary as well.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a newbie coming into the industry?

There are no shortcuts. Work hard, keep your head down, and do things the right way.

What’s your favorite race and why? (It doesn’t have to be one of your own.)

The Brew 2 Shoe 10K and 5K in Manhattan, Kansas. It’s a point-to-point race from Tallgrass Brewing Company to Manhattan Running Company and the 7th annual race will be on August 1st, 2015. It’s grown from 150 people the first year to 750 people in 2014.

How long have you worked with ChronoTrack?

Red Dirt has been with ChronoTrack since the beginning of 2013.

Why did you choose to work with ChronoTrack?

I had heard good things about ChronoTrack and my friend Keith Vroman at Rabbit Road Racing had had a great experience with your company. When we took a closer look, ChronoTrack’s system did the stuff we wanted it to do. It had the best capabilities to move Red Dirt into the future, so it just made sense.

What’s your favorite thing about working with ChronoTrack?

The support you guys give is my favorite thing about working with ChronoTrack. Especially when I first started off, it was really helpful to have you on hand for any questions I had.

What are your goals for 2015?

We want to grow in 2015. Grow the business, grow our own races…and help local race directors grow. And we will definitely continue to focus on providing great customer service.

To learn more about Red Dirt Race Management, click here.

To learn more about ChronoTrack, contact us.