Checking in with Tim Rossi, Bandit Head of Experiences (and de facto race director) about our inaugural race + more…
There’s a lot of different races in NYC and they seem to be multiplying at a hefty clip. What makes Bandit’s races different?
The one sentence answer is that we’ve tried to position this race as “entry-level unsanctioned” (a made up term I’ve coined through the various meetings we’ve had about this race). We want to put on a race that feels accessible for anyone within the running space regardless of experience level and have removed some of the features that people occasionally get turned off by with hardcore unsanctioned racing (side note - I love unsanctioned racing).
The longer explanation is that we are trying to hit that cross-section of running, pulling in both traditional runners and more community/crew runners. People who enjoy unsanctioned running will feel at home, while newcomers to the unsanctioned space will (ideally) have an awesome time and become more curious about unsanctioned running. From there, they can go to the Orchard Street Runners or Bridgerunners of the world to dive further into that space, and ultimately, that hopefully helps the community grow. All ships rise vibes.
Running and the NYC community, from top to bottom, shaped my life massively and I want to help people have that space experience if they want to.
From an athlete perspective, how were you thinking about developing the fields? Pure speed? Pure joy? A mix of both?
The guiding light with this field is the goal of bringing the entire NYC running community together (not fully possible with the limited field size (you know, safety), but still). This means various clubs, crews, boroughs, etc. etc. Races like this become awesome interaction opportunities. Helping facilitate connections is a top priority for Bandit. Ultimately that means that as people sign up, I’ll look to send out additional invitations to fill specific needs. In this case, the field was pretty well-rounded naturally, and then we looked to pull a few different clubs in from there.
For the race itself, the front of the pack will be just as exciting as the back and that is what is getting me excited.
We hear there’s going to be a little fun for the spectators as well… care to comment on that?
We definitely have more information to come, but spectators should bring some cash with them. We wanted to ensure we put some real thought into the spectator experience because they are an integral part of the racer experience. They bring the energy, and we want them to be invested in the racing.
Tell us about the route? How’d you choose it? How long is it? How does it compare to other races in NYC? What’s unique about it?
The route itself was shaped with the pillars of being specifically tied to Bandit, uniquely NYC, and (relatively) easy to navigate. We’ve tweaked it a bunch, and feel really amazing about it.
You’ll start at Bandit HQ and end out along a pier while crossing between Brooklyn and Queens in between, just in time for the sunset. The turns are pretty natural and the roads are mostly quiet by New York standards. There are also large sidewalks and only a few major street crossings. We know people are going to get lost, but we’ve tried really hard to NOT get anyone lost.
You can find it here if you want to study it.
What’s next for Bandit Racing? What’s next for Bandit?
For Bandit, we’re launching “The Membership” this week (Friday 6/10). We’re going way over and above to ensure everybody who accepts their invitation and purchases the membership feels more than satisfied with their decision, You’ll get early access to product, exclusive product, experiences perks, a standing discount, and an amazing annual gift.
From a racing perspective, we’re planning some fun stuff for August so definitely stay tuned on that front.
Oh, and the product is launching very soon. A long time coming.
I’d tell you to sign up somewhere with your email for updates, but hopefully you’ve already done that because there’s just a lot of awesome sh*t that’s about to happen.
Thx, Tim <3