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Eileen LaMontagne
August 01, 2016

10 Questions: Beth Salinger

Beth Salinger

Beth Salinger is the Race Director for Hospital Hill Run. She also happens to be the immediate past president of Running USA and is still serving on the board for her 8th year!

I'm not sure where she finds free time, but when she's got it she loves to spend it with her boyfriend cooking, taking the boat out on Lake Michigan or going to hear live music.

Somehow amidst all this, Beth still finds the time to participate in 5+ running and triathlon events per year.

We got in touch with Beth to see if she would share her secret recipe for endless energy, but the patent is still pending for that. She did agree to an interview, though.

Here you go... 10 Questions With A Race Director: Beth Salinger.


Hi Beth!

Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Neither, I love Styx!


Why in the world did you become a race director?

I sort of fell into it.  I worked in the technology industry in the 90’s designing wide area networks.  In 2000 the industry fell apart.  I started doing freelance tech work and in 2001 the Washington DC Marathon hired me to design a network, set up email and find an online registration system.  After I finished my project they asked me to stay on and help with other areas including selling and setting up the expo.  The second race was supposed to take place in March of 2003, but the United States went to war with Iraq and the race was cancelled 3 days prior.  I started my own company shortly thereafter and I love every minute of it!


What's the craziest thing a participant ever said to you?

When Hospital Hill Run closed out on our 40th running, we received a lot of emails begging to get into the event, but my two favorite were…

I may die before next year’s running of the race since I am 72 years old, you should really let me in.

I was waiting to get paid to register (race registration had been open for 10 months at this time).


What does 1 + 1 equal, and why?

It equals a team, we are so much better when we work with others!


Favorite thing about imATHLETE?

Monica Manning, she is amazing and makes my job so much easier!


What do enjoy most about being an event organizer?

I love working with participants and in a small way helping them achieve their dreams of crossing a finish line!  I believe anyone of any age, size or history can cross a finish line and every time I am at a finish line it reinforces my beliefs!


If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when organizing your first event, what would it be and why?

I would tell myself to calm down.  As a Race Director you set the tone for your entire team and I used to get really excited during a medical crisis and other tense situations.  I have since learned that if I am calm, everyone around me will be calm and the situation will get resolved.


Have you ever done a themed event? If yes, what theme? If not, would you?

I once put on a night event with Energizer.  Everyone was given a headlamp and the first mile of the race was rolling hills, it looks like waves of light running, it was pretty cool!


What’s your spirit animal?

A dolphin, I love the water!


What three things are absolutely essential for putting on a successful event?

1 – Great team of people

2 – Great partners (sponsors, city agencies, vendors)

3 – Great volunteers

Everything else falls into place.

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