by Carl Scharwath
My first experience with US Road Running was a month ago at the Green Springs Park, Florida 5K/10K race. The race was through a beautiful park and I was impressed with the way it was organized. The race manager was very thorough with his pre-race instructions and answered any questions we had. I have been in many races and I will say hats off to the volunteers. All the volunteers at each station cheered every runner on without fail and this impressed me.
I loved the finishers’ medals, the pre-race photos that were always taken, and the positive vibes I felt with US Road Running. I have since completed three races and hope you will also sign up for a race if they are in your area.
I had the pleasure of meeting Brandon Parks, the owner of US Road Running, and I was happy to interview him for Runner’s Gazette.
Good afternoon Brandon and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to tell our readers about your company, US Road Running:
- Please tell the readers of Runner’s Gazette a little about your life and how you came to be an owner of a racing company?
I was a pilot for 20 years and really wanted to be home more with my family. US Road Running has been my opportunity to do that. US Road Running started back in January 2012. In 2010, I started running so I could lose weight and really enjoyed it. My wife wanted to run a 5K and I did it with her. What a fun goal. I kept running and wanted to get more involved. I volunteered to be the web developer for York Road Runners Club (YRRC) and volunteered to be race director for a number of races. I also was able to do timing for YRRC and I volunteered to do the web page for the Harrisburg Road Runners Club. I enjoyed doing all of these things and decided I wanted to direct a half marathon, one of my favorite race distances. So I started the US Road Running Movie Madness Half Marathon with guidance from Karen Mitchell and Clay Shaw. This year US Road Running is planning over 200 races in CA, WA, TX, OH, PA, VA, GA, NC and FL.
- What was your mission at the outset?
My mission when I started US Road Running was to keep me involved with running. I have really enjoyed seeing others run and achieve their goals. The mission of US Road Running today is to encourage others to get out and run.
- Please describe the current status of US Road Running?
We are currently planning 200 races for 2020. Our goal is to have 50 races a month by the end of the year.
- What is unique about your business?
Most of our races are small with less than 50 people. The goal is to keep them personal and fun, almost like a timed group run. We even started the US Road Running Race Club. If you join the club you can get 50% off all of our live races if you pre-register using RunSignUp. We also give finisher medals to all of our runners. The last runner is just as important as the first runner. Walkers are always welcome to be part of our races.
- Where do you see your company in five years and what are your future goals?
Our goal is to have over 100 races each month and have a race in every state.
- Tell the readers about what inspires you day to day?
If you are a race director, you know that the best part of race directing is watching people finish and achieving their goals. That is what keeps me going. I know if I went back to flying, I could make more money, but being able to spend time with my family, directing races and traveling, and to meet new runners has been very rewarding. We do not currently have a house and travel full time in our RV to direct races and find new courses.
Thank you, Brandon, for your time today. We all wish you and your company well.
Note from Freddi: I met Brandon in 2012 or 2013 when he asked me to have an RG table at the Movie Madness Half Marathon. I stayed with Karen Mitchell and Clay Shaw which was fun. I met a lot of people, saw old friends, including Joe Muldowney who had just written a book about his running career; we had tables next to each other. Brandon was friendly and enthusiastic about the race. We both enjoyed seeing runners dressed as their favorite movie characters. It’s wonderful to have Carl’s interview with Brandon and to share it with our readers.