ZapEvent Interview: Barb Leininger, Owner of Running Ventures

February 29, 2016 - 3 minutes read

Barb Leininger, a legend in the Minneapolis running community, stopped by the ZapEvent office to share what she has learned in her 20+ years working in the running industry.

Barb formally established Running Ventures in June, 2000. A lifelong runner who began racing in 1977, Barb decided to devote full time to the many facets of her running world. Today, Running Ventures is mostly involved in race timing and race management. The company also hosts 3 of their own races each year: The O’Gara’s Irish Run 8K and 5K, Richard A Hoska Midsummer Mile Run and the Drumstick Dash Thanksgiving Day Events.

Barb has been a part of countless successful races over the years, and determines a successful event by the number of participants that want to come back each year.

“If participants want to come back next year, that means you did a good job this year” Leininger said. 

In all of her years in the racing community Barb says her biggest challenge is finding good volunteers:

“It seems harder than it was in past years to get people to step back and work a water stop or handle registration”.

Finding good and reliable volunteers for each event is a challenge for most event coordinators. Good volunteers are one of the most important aspects of putting on a race, simply because you can’t put on an event without them! Make sure your volunteers know they are valued and appreciated. If you are struggling to find volunteers for your event check out our blog; Finding Dedicated Volunteers for your Event for some helpful tips

Barb’s 3 pieces of advice for race directors is to build a good team, ask for help, and work with a budget- as a bonus piece of advice Barb encourages directors to network with other race directors and never be afraid to ask questions along the way!

To learn more about Barb Leininger and the services Running Ventures offers visit

O’Gara’s Irish Run • March 19, 2016

O’Gara’s Irish Run features an 8k and 5k run. O’Gara’s is excited to be selected as the 2016 USATF Minnesota 8k Championship Race and to be a part of the USATF Minnesota Team Circuit. The event begins and ends at our sponsor, O’Gara’s Bar and Grill. Entry fee includes a free drink coupon good for beer, soda or water at the post race party.

Registration for 2016 is now open. Complete race details are at O’Gara’s Irish Run