Why Commentate for DotWatcher?
18 February, 2023
DotWatcher has been providing a window into the ultra-distance cycling community since 2018. With over 75 races on the 2023 calendar we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to join the ranks of our expert commentators.
Here we'll go over why you should commentate and whether it's for you.
We’re looking for race experts to commentate one (or more than one!) of our 75 races this year. So, what exactly makes a good commentator and a race expert?
Often, this can be different things, maybe you were involved in the race organisation, you ride in the area and will be out seeing riders on the ground or most likely, you’ve raced this race before. Alternatively, maybe you are studying the race to tackle it next year, this can be a great way to flex those muscles and learn about the race first hand.
Familiarity with the race, including the format, the rules and the unique aspects of the race is important. Having an idea of what the riding conditions are like and where our competitors are likely to find difficulty, restock points, great views or even places to sleep is useful as you’ll be able to intuitively know why they’ve stopped or are moving slowly.
Finally, make sure you’re happy to follow the race! Being able to follow an ultra-distance race from start to finish can sometimes be an ultra in itself. However, it is one of the most rewarding ways to be involved in a race without actually racing.
What’s in it for you as a commentator?
You’re joining a community of expert bikepackers, with your bio on the contributor's page you’ll be among the ranks of our dotwatching superstars.
This role is perfect if you love to flex your creative muscles. With thousands of readers logging onto our site every race, you’ll be able to share your creative writing or entertaining insights with the entire ultra-cycling community.
You’ll also be in the middle of the action, with some inside access to your favourite races you could learn more about the race than has previously been possible. Working in tandem with the race organisers and veterans you’ll be in the thick of it.
Telling a story. Often, with races just being dots moving on a page to those at home, we don’t fully understand what it’s like on the ground. Bringing the race to life will help provide friends, family and fans at home with a full story and bring more people to our exciting community.
Our brand new Perks Pack: our generous sponsors have come together to provide a unique Perks Pack for our commentators to make your next ride a little easier.
What's involved in the job?
The role of a commentator is to draw updates from sources such as race tracking, social media, forums and blogs and overlay this with your own personal experience and unique access to the race provided by DotWatcher. All combined to create an exciting narrative of the race as it unfolds.
When you join as a volunteer commentator we will give you a full guide on how to post content to the DotWatcher website, and a guide to creating compelling commentary.
You will be given a point of contact at DotWatcher to help you if you get stuck and where possible they will support you with race contacts, route files and other pointers to help you focus on the race itself.
Most commentators do a couple of races a year, during which time they are updating the feed a few times a day whilst the race is underway, depending of course how much action is unfolding.