So I got the nice letter from Bethel regarding the 2009 Bethel Spring Series. It's a go!
Although I try and give very little reason to have Bethel reject my request to hold the race, it's always a bit of a nervous time for me. I feel like I can't move forward with anything - no numbers, no sponsor type things, no organization. If I make the assumption it'll be okay and move forward, it's just inviting an unexpected rejection.
So I waited.
Now that I have permission, I should be cranking along, right?
Well, not really.
In case you're not from the area, we just got severely dumped on just before Christmas - snow from Saturday until Sunday evening, altering our landscape until it resembled the Battle of the Bulge.
Meaning the World War II battle, not the one I'm currently fighting with myself.
The snow meant a lot of energy spent outside, in the snow, not cleaning the garage, not cleaning the basement, using energy that could have been used to, say, do Bethel things.
And speaking of the Bulge... Today I weighed myself on the only teeter-totter scale I know of, the propane tank scale. I decided to weigh myself after filling a 100 pound tank (which weighs about 72 pounds empty, at least this one did, so the scale was set at 172 pounds). After I filled the tank and dragged it off the scale, I stepped up on it.
The lever stayed down.
I moved the weight over a bit.
I jumped to make sure the scale still moved. Maybe it froze in the last fifteen seconds and that's why it's saying I'm so heavy.
Nope, the lever bounced.
The lever finally floated.
Granted I had a coat on, steel toed boots, flannel lined pants, keys, and who knows what else, but when I balanced out the scale I weighed 196 pounds.
One hundred and ninety six pounds.
Holy Hey Seuss Chris Toe.
I walked back into the store. I clomped up the steps, knowing that when I lifted one foot, the other foot was holding up 196 pounds. I stepped down and lifted the other foot. 196 pounds of weight on my foot.
When I hold a 50 pound bag of grain, it's 246 pounds. A 60 pound bag of sand, 256 pounds. An 80 pound bag of RockSalt (we're out of it now, thankfully), 256 pounds.
It's hard to think about Bethel when you're trudging around with almost 250 pounds on your feet, especially when they want 36 bags of feed or something absurd like that.
But I have thought about Bethel, at least a little bit. A few people have already emailed me and I realized that there will be a LOT of questions regarding entry fees, because of some "restructuring" I'm doing behind the scenes.
So, for 2009, this is how it's going to be.
First off, USA Cycling has seen the need to increase the insurance surcharge to $3 per day, up from $2 per day. Therefore we (or I) will need to charge one more dollar regardless.
Now for the entry fees.
If you pre-register for the Series, or even pre-register for just a few of the races, you make life a lot easier for the promoter. Therefore you get rewarded. The best way to reward a racer paying entry fee is to reduce such fee.
So, pending my budgetary calculations, my goal is to increase pre-registration (PR) costs to the racer by as much as $1 as compared to 2008's entry fees. This means the actual cost of the entry remains the same because the increase is due solely to USA Cycling's insurance surcharge.
However, "day of race" folks will need to pay a bit more. I will raise the "day of race" (DoR) fee to approximately $20 total (including the insurance surcharge). Since we charged $17 (or was it $18?) last year, this would equate a $2 (or $1) increase for the race fee, with a $1 insurance increase accounting for the last dollar increase.
The next part is complicated.
Although I said this last year, I didn't act on it. I couldn't do it for a number of reasons, but those are all gone now. In 2009 Bethel will be, for the first time, a for-profit race. This means that the race benefits the promoter. Since the race has always been a not-for-profit venture, any money we've earned had to go back into the race. It was a legal requirement.
In 2009 that changes: we will become a "for profit" race.
However, we don't want to throw away all the not-for-profit money, especially since we need it to seed the 2009 race (permits, numbers, deposits, fees, etc.) Therefore the 2008 not-for-profit company will be sponsoring "You The Racer".
Each week that you race, the 2008 Carpe Diem Promotions will help cover your racing costs by paying a portion of your entry fee.
Again, since pre-registration makes life easier for a promoter, I will reward those who pre-register by applying the sponsorship money to their PR entries before the DoR entries. This is sort of automatic because, by definition, PR entries arrive before DoR entries.
The sponsorship runs until we exhaust the 2008 Carpe Diem Promotion's funds. Then the price climbs back to the (normal) higher price.
I have yet to calculate about how many racers (and at what rate) the 2008 CDP funds can sponsor. My goal is to run out of 2008 CDP money at the end of the Series, not before. I will have a final number for the cost increase, but I don't have it yet. This means there will be an official increase in the registration fee for both PR and DoR entry fees, above and beyond the +1 and $20 I mentioned earlier.
I'm guessing it'll increase about $3 each. This means PRs will go up about $4 total, DoRs about $6 (or $5). I think they'll be $15 PR and $23 DoR, but, again, I'm not sure.
Remember, the 2008 CDP folks will cover approximately $3 of that entry fee. This is why I mentioned my ultimate goal for cost to the racer, because we need to advertise a higher entry fee.
Once the 2008 CDP money runs out, PR and DoR fees revert to the full price. Legally we cannot discount your entries in 2009 unless another entity steps up and covers part of your fee. Again, my goal is to have as few racers as possible get hit by the full entry fee. If necessary, 2008 CDP will sponsor a few entries in 2010, giving some pre-reg folks a surprise break in their entry fee.
In a near future post I'll explain some of the new benefits to the racers as well as some of the "back office" improvements we'll be making. I don't want to mess with the prize money, nor will I be making huge changes to the schedule (at least not at this point). My goal is to have a smoother, more efficient Bethel Spring Series that doesn't lose its friendly and budget-conscious nature.