The course is in a great location, and we received lots of positive feedback after our test event last year. There are a couple similar races in our geographical area with stellar participation numbers, and we think we have even more of a gem of a course.
I've analyzed the participant demographic of some of the previous years for a comparable race, and the overall numbers are climbing year-over-year. If we could approach those numbers in the coming years, it would be great. The only problem is that the participation is so highly skewed towards males. 40% of the 25mi, 11% of the 35mi, and 8% of the 65mi racers are female. I understand that as an RD, more participants, regardless of gender, is good news. But is there a way to make such a race more appealing to women? The race I have been searching started offering equal prize money to male and female categories, but has since skewed their prize distribution about two-fold to the men's field, as the middle-aged male category has exploded. Is that the only way to run a successful cycling event?
In a hypothetical bike race, would any of these points affect your likelihood of attending:
Do you want a separate course or starting time, or do you want to mix in with the men?
Do you want age categories, or some other category?
Do you want prize money between men and women to be equal, even if male participation is dramatically higher?
Do you want the same challenging/fierce atmosphere as men?
Do you feel like races are marketed primarily towards men and not enough towards women?
Do you want different race swag?
Do you want women's only bathroom facilities?
I really just want to know if you have experienced something in your multisport career that has deterred you from participating in an event, you otherwise would.