Flat-Out Events, a race management company located in Newport News, works behind the scenes to capture excitement as well as engage its participants in every race. Ranging from small, private races of hundreds, to its involvement with the One City Marathon of thousands, Flat Out Events never falls short of capturing illuminating experiences and the journeys of thousands of runners across the region. “Flat-Out Events’ mission is to produce athletic events that influence people within our community and beyond to live healthier and more active lifestyles,” says Aime Clinkenbeard, Flat-Out’s director of community partnerships.
Clinkenbeard works countless hours each week alongside her community to help maintain partnerships as well as seize sponsorship opportunities with local businesses across the region. “Making those connections and keeping those relationships is one of the most important aspects of the business as we continue to grow the company,” says Clinkenbeard.
With a daily, chaotic schedule, Clinkenbeard continues to remain attentive in every aspect of her career. “With emails, phone calls, planning through logistics and thinking through the perspectives of each race participant, Flat-Out works hard to make sure that each racer has a great experience, as well as helping to ensure that the details of each race are coordinated correctly,” says Clinkenbeard.
Owner Jason Todd concurs, saying, “My favorite aspect is the community of people I have become a part of. I’ve met so many awesome folks and built meaningful friendships. I really appreciate those opportunities more now, especially after going through the pandemic.”
According to Todd, the most challenging piece of his job is the difficulties of the event business in general. “Attention to detail, long hours and working on weekends can take a toll. You have to be intentional about time management to make time for family and care for yourself,” Todd says.
When asked how COVID-19 affected the business, Clinkenbeard says, “All the live races came to a screeching halt; however, through the use of various social media platforms, Flat-Out was able to keep people moving and involved through personal connections as well as maintaining fun, physical challenges for the whole community. It was a way for people to stay active in the community through digital engagement in a safe environment.”
Clinkenbeard continues, “I think the way the business is currently growing, we could become the largest management company on this side of the water. Since the pandemic, races have come back even stronger than before, and I think the way Flat-Out represents itself really touches people personally and emotionally, helping to grow the reputation of our company. Just to be a part of each individual journey is so powerful and emotional that it really makes you look at everything on a deeper level. It’s truly inspiring.”
When asked if she could go back and give herself one piece of advice before beginning her current role, Clinkenbeard emphasizes the importance of having the confidence to see what others see. “Starting this new role was such a change from what I had done before, so I needed to remind myself that I wouldn’t be here if someone didn’t think I could do the job,” says Clinkenbeard.
As a creative, positive and optimistic individual, Clinkenbeard loves spending time with her family, paddle boarding and camping, in addition to visiting local amusement parks in the summer, including Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. With three children and a husband of 17 years, Clinkenbeard remains family oriented. “Family life is so important to me, especially spending as much time with my kids as possible as they grow older,” says Clinkenbeard.
With the initiative to celebrate any kind of movement from walking to running, Flat -Out Events has been able to create a more organic and life changing experience for each individual racer.