I'd like to start a DH race at my local ski hill (which has a few DH trails) and I'd like to know how to setup the following:

  • Registration
  • Practice/Qualis/Race runs
  • Timing/Results

I realize this is pretty broad, and I have the general idea of how a race weekend goes from watching way too many PinkBike videos, but most of those are large races with sponsors, etc.

Also, the size of the first race will most likely be less than 50 racers or so.

  • Have you checked if the owners would be OK with a race?
    – Batman
    Jul 25, 2014 at 15:58
  • Yes, since I'm basically on the board :) Also, other folks would probably be interested in this as a general question.
    – Aaron
    Jul 25, 2014 at 16:55
  • Where are you? I imagine laws and local regulations will have a big impact.
    – DWGKNZ
    Jul 25, 2014 at 20:14
  • 1
    I'm guessing the hill owners will want you to buy insurance, to protect them from liability. Jul 26, 2014 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


Am I correct in thinking (based on your PinkBike comment) that you've never personally participated in a DH race? I would very highly recommend you compete in a few before trying to put on one of your own.

There's a ton of things you'll need to think about, and the best way to get a good list is by attending one yourself and looking around with a critical eye. Off the top of my head, other things you need to prepare

  • Bathrooms/porta potties
  • Race bibs
  • Food/water
  • Course marshals
  • Parking
  • Prizes

    Other suggestions from comments

  • Insurance - @Daniel R Hicks

  • Medical support - @Jahaziel
  • Course preparation @Jahaziel
  • Race Categories - @Jahaziel

Competing in a race would give you a chance to look at all these things, and how they can be done well/poorly. It would also give you a chance to speak to the race organizers in person (although they'll likely be quite busy, you may need to wait until the end) and pick their brains.

If going to a different race isn't an option, you might still try to contact organizers and talk to them over the phone.

In response to your specific questions, I know there are websites to handle registration; you might check out http://racesonline.com/, they've done a few races I've been to. Or you could probably get all the info you need with a Google Drive Form, but that might be a little hard. On the upshot, it would be free.

As far as timing, there are companies that will rent/come out and operate chip timing equipment (I don't know any off the top of my head), but the budget way to do it is to start two stop watches at exactly the same time in the morning before the race, then send one to the start and one to the finish. Then you have a person at the top recording the starting time of each bib number, and a person at the bottom recording finishing time. At the end of the day you go through and subtract all the start times from the finish times, and presto! This is very cheap, but it's imprecise, and it means you don't get results until the end (unless you have more people with radios communicating times back and forth, which is doable but requires extra hands).

Practice runs seem like they're more or less up to you, and could probably be handled with a chalk board.

  • 1
    I would add Racing Categories, Medical Assistance, Course preparation, Timing method.
    – Jahaziel
    Jul 25, 2014 at 23:21
  • 1
    And don't forget insurance. Jul 26, 2014 at 2:22
  • I race XC, Super D, and Enduro, so I'm familiar with how races are run. I guess I'm looking for how to best implement these things on a small scale.
    – Aaron
    Jul 28, 2014 at 15:26
  • That gets pretty hard to answer. Most of the trappings around race day are to cope with a large number of people who don't know each other and maybe haven't been to that trail network before. The answer to your question will depend pretty much entirely on the number of people attending and the level of formality you're going for.
    – stranger
    Jul 28, 2014 at 16:03

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