Boilermaker Blog

Survey Says!

A few weeks ago we sent out an electronic survey of twenty questions to 9,400 former Boilermaker participants. Nearly 2,400 responded back or roughly 20%; simply amazing.
The questions ranged from things we’ve done in the past to possible enhancements to this year’s or perhaps future Boilermakers.
Who Are You?
From a gender perspective our recipients pretty much mirrored what we’ve seen from registration; 52% male, 48% female. Age-wise the 25-34 year olds were our largest respondents, they traditionally are part of our ‘core’ in race participation. You certainly are a smart bunch; 50% have a college degree and 38% have post-college education!
What Did You Say?
If runners had run other races besides the Boilermaker we ranked very high in entertainment, the Post Race Party, and the finish line. Fans and support along the course ranked the highest, as it should. This community takes supporting this event seriously with nearly wall to wall spectators along our 9.3 mile course.
The start line and the Expo did not rank as well. The start line I get; it’s a constrained space and if you end up with slower runners in the wrong corrals it causes frustration.
The Expo was a bit of a surprise. I’m hoping that the move to MVCC with its ample parking to ease concerns.
This year is an induction year for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame. Traditionally we have the induction Saturday afternoon of Boilermaker Weekend. We asked if you had advanced notification would you come; 75% said you wouldn’t. This was a bit of a kick in the stomach!
We’re thinking about offering a full day of speakers/ presentations at the MVCC Theater on Boilermaker Saturday, 62% said you’d like to see an athlete from the running world with 34% favoring an inspirational speaker. I’m trying to figure out how someone wouldn’t come to see a great American athlete at the Induction but want to hear from an athlete from the running world; oh well.
The idea of receiving a ‘virtual goody bag’ rather than the traditional one was vetoed by three out of four of you. Most of the larger races are abandoning goody bags due to the availability of sample sizes of products and the sheer amount of cardboard and logistics to support the effort.
Show Me the Money!
Over 86% of you said you would be interested in buying merchandise at the Expo primarily focused towards the running community. If we looked specifically at Boilermaker merchandise the technical shirt was the clear favorite getting nearly 1,500 votes followed by tee shirts garnering over a 1,000 votes.
Feed Me!
Our Boilermaker participants’ certainty like food. If we were to expand activities at the Expo the number one choice (with over 1,400 votes) was nutritional cooking. If you had a choice of food offered at the Expo healthy choices such as wraps, salads and sandwiches were followed closely by local favorites such as chicken riggies, greens and tomato pie.
The sandwich offering at the Post Race Party was a marginal winner with alternatives of fresh fruit and energy bars ranking highly among people who did not care for the sandwich. Nearly 60% said they would pay for food at the Post Race Party depending on the offering.
The Sponsors Smile
Over 86% of you are aware of the sponsors of the Boilermaker and 78% of you said you would patronize them! Believe me these are numbers I will share with our sponsors whom I assume wonder if supporting the Boilermaker makes good financial sense.
The last question was an open-ended one; ‘if you could tell the Boilermaker staff one thing what would that be?’ I haven’t tabulated the answers or figured out if there is a trend or common theme; when I do I’ll report back.
I’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. There is nothing better than hearing ‘the voice of the customer’.

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