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Meet Tom Spadafora of The Fox River Trail Runners

posted by Brandon
Meet Tom Spadafora of The Fox River Trail Runners

Spadafora is energetic and passionate about his community. “Ever want to try something different with your running or need to push yourself harder to reach a goal? Our events provide the opportunities and tools to make that happen” says Spadafora. Check out this Q&A to get to know the man behind some of these fascinating events in Illinois.

Is Race Directing a part-time gig for you? If so, what is your ‘day-job’?

My day job is a Health & Wellness Coach helping folks design plans to improve almost any aspect of their lives.

What inspired you to become a Race Director?

The biggest motivator is to give participants the experience they deserve and make them satisfied about an event.

How involved is your family in your event?

My son is stoked beyond belief in helping with the events.  He digs course management and lending a hand wherever he can.  Now that he is away at college I think he misses me giving him tasks to handle.  My wife also helps at the winter races as the “soup lady”.   She makes the soup, brings it to the race site, and helps serve.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a Race Director?

Working with local municipalities to get permission to conduct an event.

Check out Fox River Trail Runners

What is the most rewarding part of being a Race Director?

Getting positive feedback and recognition either in person or electronically on events.

How do you choose your charity?

We select local entities with the most need.

Are you a runner yourself?

Since the 6th grade.  Although I was away from the sport for a while until about 2005 when I started to train again and got the marathon bug.

Do you have a hard time delegating tasks?

Not really.  I surround myself with talented folks I know can do a job so I do not have to worry.

How do you celebrate a successful event?

A nice cold beer and a good meal.  I bring along all the volunteers who made the event happen and praise them for a job well done.

What do you predict for the future of Road Racing?

Certainly going to continue to grow in all categories.  The alternative formats (color, mud, etc) are exciting and meet the needs of runners who are not wanting a traditional road race.  As more folks start running they will move up to attempting longer distances so 13.1 and 26.2 events are going to see continued growth. Technology and social media will continue to drive race popularity.  I only hope the entry fees can remain reasonable.

What do you believe incentivizes a person to run your event?

A great history of event management through the years and doing the little things that make an event special for the veteran as well as the first timer.

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