Planning events is far more work than training for them. You have to rely on a great number of others (imagine if every time you trained you had to schedule it so that there were at least three of you doing it together....madness!), the hours are (MUCH) longer, and it's far less fun. The satisfying part comes only on race day where, if you're lucky, you'll finally think that it was worth all the effort - if only for a brief and fleeting moment.
I'm doing this for the second time now - filling the roll of 'course designer' among other things for the Extreme North Dakota Iceman Triathlon which will be held this coming saturday. I've wondered a great many times over the last few weeks how exactly there came to be a second time (why don't i learn my lessons the first time? I'm a physicist, shouldn't i possess some modicum of intelligence?!).
Honestly though, i think i've sorted it out. It's my time to be 'the guy'. You see as i was 'growing up i remember marvelling and wondering first about the folk who would tirelessly put up new climbing routes (spending days cleaning and bolting a route that took 10 minutes to climb) and then later about the poor saps who would plan and direct races. Back then i assumed that these people were, at least to some degree, the 'wanna-bes' of the climbing or endurance world. Unable to be competitive themselves but wanting to be recognized for their accomplishments and patted on the back by great athletes, they turned to working tirelessly to establish climbs or create an event.
Maybe some of the event directors out there fit this bill, but most probably don't. Instead i now figure these guys are passionate athletes, competitive or not, who are simply 'taking their turn' for love of the sport, whatever it is. Not everyone will direct or plan an event, of course, and i myself may not have had it not been for the fact that the powerful adventure vacuum up here in Grand Forks sucked me in (twice now!) I'm glad it did.
It's alot of work, true. But it keeps me humble and ironically (and sadly perhaps) is my first real taste of gaining satisfaction from doing something for other people. Of course being recognized for my accomplishments and patted on the back by great athletes feels pretty good too......