An Open Letter to Our Running Community

At Trivium Racing, Libby and I (Richard) strive to put on top-notch events inside and outside of the Triad. Trivium Racing’s main goal has always been to share our passion by putting on top-notch events that enhance what’s already happening in the bigger local community. We are not in the business of making a buck off a less than desirable product. We always want to be very open about our thoughts, goals, and ideas.

When Trivium Racing was first born, we knew that one of our goals was to bring back a marathon to Greensboro.  At the time Winston-Salem and Greensboro were two of the three largest cities in the US without a road marathon.  From the beginning we knew it would be our biggest challenge, both financially and logistically, as a company, but we were, and still are, up for the fight.

Our first year, 2013, was a great success! Unfortunately there were complications with putting on the Elon – Greensboro version in year two that meant we would not get permission from all six municipalities we crossed until late spring for a fall marathon. This would make it much more difficult to put on an event we would be proud of.  In year two of the Greensboro Marathon, attendance slipped a bit but we were excited at the responses we got from post race comments and surveys we sent out regarding the event.  With this bolstering our resolve we settled in for a third year and hopefully some significant growth.

Since year one Trivium Racing has put on several other events in the area and further afield. In our first two years of the Greensboro Marathon, any profit from those other events has gone to pay for the large bill incurred by an event of this magnitude.  In year two we borrowed against future events to guarantee the race’s success.  As it stands currently, The Greensboro Marathon is significantly behind last year’s registrations and Trivium Racing is being forced to make some pretty big decisions about the future of the event in the coming months.

We have put our heart and soul and all of our energy into making this event successful. We don’t sit back and enjoy a payday until all of our racers, partners, and sponsors are beyond happy. Since leaving traditional employment and moving into small business ownership, Libby and Richard have taken a 75% salary cut and worked other odd jobs just to make sure that the majority of the profit from our events goes back to our participants and charity partners. We say all this to keep with our policy of honesty and to let you know that we have extended ourselves about as far as we can go on this event, but we will never diminish the quality of the finished product

In the next several weeks we will be forced to make reductions in some ways to the Marathon to secure a fourth year for Trivium Racing as a whole.  The first cut we are being forced to make is the removal of our cash prize purse.  As a former professional triathlete I would love if all of my events could have a cash prize with giant checks because having elite athletes push their limits on our courses is a great opportunity.  This change will affect the least amount of participants and will still allow us to put on the same quality event that is always our main goal.

We are not sure exactly why our numbers have dropped in the third year, but low attendance seems to be an indication of either a dislike of the course, too many similar events in the area, or dissatisfaction of our production of the event.  We have heard some say the course itself is too hilly.  We have looked into the possibility of a point-to-point event from Winston Salem to Greensboro in 2016 and other options. We love this event and would still like to see it grow to become a staple event in the area, but we would love to get some feedback from the community on whether you think this event is a keeper or not.

As it stands right now, we will do everything we can to make the 2015 event happen, but in all honesty the event is under stress. We promise to be fiscally responsible with the registration and sponsorship dollars coming into the event. If however numbers stay at their current low levels we will not be able to afford the $125,000+ bill that comes with an event of this magnitude.  We have big goals for 2016 and want to make sure we are around to bring more great events to the area.   We have never cancelled an event in the Triad due to low attendance (even if that event has cost us money). If it comes to that with the marathon, we will not do so lightly.

Right now we are focused completely on hosting the best 2015 event. Expect great food, music, amazing volunteers, a beautiful course showcasing our great city, awesome awards and giant medals to celebrate your giant success!

We love our Running Community,

Richard Swor

Comments

  1. Colin Yoder

    Rich,

    Your events are so well run and I hate to hear about the financial strain that it takes to put on this size event. I wish all of Greensboro could embrace this event and take it to the next level.

    Have you approached any of the major companies and asked for a title sponsor? I would think Wrangler, Lincoln Financial. Volvo, and Tanger along with other companies based in GSO would jump at the chance to be a major sponsor to enhance their relationship with the community. I would even reach out to some of the foundations as well…Bryan, Cemala, etc…due to their interest in making GSO a better community.

    Just thoughts…you may have tried these options already. Just takes a lot of persuasion for these types of avenues to come up with the money, but definitely a plus for them to be associated with a well run race and building GSO to the next level.

    Thx for all you guys do for the running community!!
    Colin

  2. Wes Koonts

    I have always been of the opinion that Greensboro needs a good/big marathon or half marathon. And it just has never gotten off the ground.
    The course now is very hilly….but at the same time is not hilly enough to draw a challenge of like a mountain marathon. So some other reason must be found to draw people here to run a race. Some races have a medal everyone wants or a special T-shirt. Or for some a special feature on the course(a race track, a tunnel, run threw a zoo. Others a special finish. ( start and finish in a ballpark, on a race track, in a special place or building).
    A draw.or gimmick..and Here I am not sure what that is. This is what I think is a problem and I do not have a real answer.

  3. Rhonda Johnson

    I hope that you will be able to put on this event. I have not run the half or full marathon but I have done the Triad Ten Miler and I love that one!! I hope the run community can come together and help ya’ll out because Trivium Racing has done a lot for the triad in terms of raising the profile for runners. You are appreciated!

  4. Charlotte

    Greensboro was my first half marathon and I loved the challenge. I have not graduated to the next level of a marathon but I plan to be there in October for the half.

  5. Jason Ward

    Guys,

    I love your races. I’ve done several of your duathlons and triathlons each of the last two years. Your races are well organized, fun and reasonably priced. It’s definitely been worth the effort to travel from Raleigh to the Greensboro area.

    I had consider running in the half marathon in Greensboro but the price was keeping me away. My price point is about $50 to $60 for a half marathons.

    Looking forward to competing more great races from you. Ever consider a cycling time trial series? Also would love some 10 mile or more trail races in November and December.

    Thanks.

  6. Sara Harmon

    I know I’ve personally decided not to do this race because NC marathons are some of the more expensive marathons during the fall – and if I’m going to spend that kind of money, I’d rather go somewhere I’ve never run before. I also find it extremely inconvenient for locals that there is no race day packet pickup. I live closer to Winston Salem and don’t want to drive over 2 days for one race. Have you thought about a Groupon again? That’s the only reason I signed up in 2013. I know you put on great events, but a lot of other companies do too – at a lower price point.

  7. Tonia Hamilton

    Good afternoon,

    I am curious as to when a final decision will be made about the Greensboro Marathon/Half Marathon event. Will the final outcome be released some time in September?

  8. Katie Teal

    I love this event and you guys and would like to see it return next year. This was my first half marathon in 2013 and while it was tough, it was rewarding and turned me onto Trivium. You guys are my favorite race company. Your courses are always very challenging, but I always feel a great sense of accomplishment upon completion. Sincerely, thank you for all you both do.
    -Katie

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