In conversation with... Rachael Wood, MD of Nice Work.
By Jess Gjergji, Nice Work
It’s Monday morning and I’m scheduled to catch up with Rachael, MD of Nice Work.
Rachael has a bright little office, all white panelling and soft, powder-blue walls. The peace-lily on her desk nods happily in the breeze that skips through the open window and a coffee mug with the slogan ‘positivi-tea’ winks in the sunshine. I can hear the call of gulls outside and, as Nice Work have their offices on the cusp of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, there is the clean tang of salt in the air.
I have worked with Rachael for almost eighteen months and, although decorum dictates that I must, she begs very little introduction. Rachael is the engine at Nice Work. She is the glue. Her bright laughter can often be heard spilling out into the corridors of Nice Work. You can tell when she’s excited about something because the air practically thrums around her, and she begins to bounce on the balls of her feet as though energy is literally fizzing out of her every pore. It’s an infectious kind of fizz, a superb motivator and marvellously inspiring.
Today, she’s relaxed, a mug of tea in hand. She’s comfortable in her Nice Work hoodie and gives me a warm, encouraging smile… And so, I begin.
You’ve launched a new website at Nice Work… Can you tell us a bit about that?
It’s finally here! We’ve had such amazing feedback and comments at our races and we’re so pleased to hear that runners are loving the new look and functionality as much as we are. Among some of the new features are BLOG posts… and I get to kick us off!
That’s quite a responsibility! What can you tell our readers about you?
I am the Managing Director at Nice Work and one of three Directors that steer the ship there. I’ve been working for Nice Work for the past five years and went from part-time Marketing Manager to business owner in that time. What a journey it’s been! During the week I do the office stuff and I’m often accompanied by my one-year-old cockerpoo, Finley… although productivity seems to go down quite a lot when he is in!
Narrators note… Finley is adorable!
Do you ever work at races?
Absolutely! At weekend’s you will probably find me on the start/finish line, working as Race Director. I am one of several Race Directors at Nice Work and it’s through them and an amazing team of race staff and volunteers that we can deliver these incredible races. This is also where I get to meet our amazing running community. There is no happier place for me than cheering our runners across the finishing mats.
I’m the excitable one in the big bobble hat!
Is there a particular race that stands out for you?
That’s a hard question to answer but, whilst I love all our races, the one that stood out for me this year was The Kent Spring Marathon. It’s a low-key, hilly marathon & half marathon and we had the support of one of our amazing local running clubs who provided us with a merry band of volunteer marshals.
What made that race so special?
Something extraordinary happened on the finish line that day. I was witness to some incredible feats of human endurance. I got to see first-hand the results of so many hours of training, the challenge of getting through 26.2 miles and how much mental strength this took. I was part of the family high fives, PB celebrations and finish line tears and I was so honoured to be part of each journey, albeit in that small snapshot of time.
I had this ‘WOW’ moment and I felt so lucky to be part of something so special. It was incredibly humbling.
This must be something that you get to see a lot, as a Race Director…
Definitely. This is something that can be celebrated at all our events. All our Race Director’s and race team have had similar experiences and stories. It gave me the idea of establishing our ‘Runner Journeys’ and celebrating our race-day heroes. We will be rolling this out over the coming months.
That sounds like one to watch out for. So, is there anything else that you want to tell us about?
Yes please! The new website gives us a fresh new look and a streamlined booking process. It cuts out 3rd party booking portals and gives the runner more autonomy over the things that matter like claiming their results managing their own unlimited deferrals and transfers. Everything is now all under one umbrella and in-house. But it isn’t going to end here, the Nice Work team are beavering away developing many more features behind the scenes. We’ve been listening to our runners and we’re so excited about rolling out some of these amazing programs over the next few months. There’s lots of cool stuff!
I’m told that you’re not the only one in your family that can be found on the finish line…?
(laughs) No, it’s true! I’ve managed to rope my other half into race delivery too! Rob is one of our race timers. In fact, that’s one of the incredible things about races… it brings people together. We have lots of couples and families in our race team that help deliver these fantastic races together. We’re a very close-knit team. I love that.
Thank you for your time, Rachael. I hope that we can catch up with you again soon…?
Absolutely! I hope to have so much else to tell you over the next few months. It’s a very exciting time at Nice Work.
Is there anything you would like to leave us with…?
As always, I would like to thank our fantastic community of runners for choosing us and making our races such incredible events. They make each and every event something very special; you can’t make that up, you can’t fake it, it’s something that the runners bring with them. It’s a privilege to be part of and it makes my job incredibly rewarding.