Niche Race Supply
Low Volume Orders
High Volume Prices
Race Shirts SWAG Bags 3D Race Medals
Personalized Bib Numbers (in development)
Banner Finish Lines (free with your order)
To My Fellow Race Directors, Runners, Event Planners, Adventurers and pretty much everyone else:
Though I’m an RD for the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series (GYAS) in Southwest Montana, I live most of the year in Vietnam and China. From late August through June, I work on education issues in Asia. Then, from July to mid-August, I host the GYAS races and enjoy the backcountry of Montana. The geographic reality of my career path has given me an idea. And I think it’s a cool idea because, among other things, I’ll get to work with race directors, running clubs, and athletes from around the world.
This past summer we completed the 12th year of GYAS races. We started with the Inaugural Madison Marathon in 2008. This has grown into an eight-race series for 2020. This summer we hosted a 5K, duathlon, double marathon, Olympic distance triathlon, and a gravel road cycling race. Next year, we will add a double Ultra marathon. Each race is small (fewer than 200 athletes which is our cap since we’re on National Forest). Thus, I know well the challenges of outfitting a small race or event that can compete with both the larger races and other niche races in your area. It’s hard to get good prices for small volume races especially for races in Montana.
Let’s face it. Many of the athletes who sign up for our races do so for the shirt and the medal. The cooler the better. They also want to have a sweet-looking and practical SWAG bag to carry around. It’s part of the “proof” that they have completed a challenge. These items can be expensive especially when ordering in small volumes. For the most part, the shirts, medals, bags, and all the other accessories come from the same place – factories in Vietnam and China.
There’s a ton of middlemen between those factories and the RDs of the world. Like me, I am sure RDs all across the country receive emails from trading companies hawking their wares at fantastic prices. I’ve followed up several times only to learn that the best prices and quality are for orders of 1,000 items or more. My little race series in Southwest Montana just doesn’t cut it. At least, it doesn’t cut it at a price that makes sense.
So back to my cool idea. This is where I come in and can help you, your running club, and your races.
For the past few years, I have taken advantage of where I live and work for most of the year. I’ve been able to contact the factories directly, build relationships, and get prices that are hard to get from abroad. What’s more is that I can do the quality control ahead of time before the goods ship out. The notion of “direct from the factory” is hardly a new concept. It’s been around since the Industrial Revolution in England. But “factory direct” for small athletic events managed by an RD who owns a race series and understands the challenges of supplying small niche races is a bit of a new concept.
To kick start a collaboration, I have prepared a niche race supply kit that I will send, free of charge, to anyone who is curious. The kits include (see photos): two different types of SWAG bags, a 2019 race shirt, a 3D race medal from 2019, and a bib number. These are the products that we have used in the past for our GYAS races. They are from the suppliers that I know and work with in Vietnam and China. This is the baseline of what you can expect in terms of style, quality, and design.
The ball park prices per piece for these products are about $6.50 for the shirt, $3.50 for bag, and $4.30 for the medals. Of course, the final price will depend on the size of your order and the specs of the design, materials, etc…. and the location of your race, but these prices represent a niche order of a couple hundred of each item. This includes shipping to your door. We will also include a banner finishing line (60 x 300 cm) with your design for free. It can have some other design as needed for your race.
After working directly with you on the types of materials, styles, designs, prices, quantities, lead times, invoicing, and other factors, we QC the product for a final review before full production. Then, we ship it all out directly to your door in time for your niche race.
That’s the deal. One RD helping other RDs, running clubs, and athletes. Globalization, but with a RD from Montana helping out from the factory floor on the other side of the world.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that we will have the lowest possible prices. At least at the beginning, we will not scour the country sides of Vietnam and China to find the cheapest factories available. However, we will source from those factories that we know and trust. We will be there to ensure your order is done on time, to your specs, and at the highest quality possible.
If any of the above has sparked your interest, let me know. We can take it step by step from there. Our first step is to mail you a niche race supply kit completely free of charge. All I need is your mailing address.
Have a great race season for the remainder of 2019 and all of 2020. We’re ready to work with you.
Race Director of the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series
Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
GYAS Website: www.themadisonmarathon.com