The Work: Drag yourself through an adventure race or mountain-bike relay, and you'll think the race organizers have the easy job: What's there to do other than stock the water stations? Yet for sports marketers who organize and oversee hundreds of contests each year, there's no shortage of work—tallying entry forms, pitching the event to ESPNII, driving front-end loaders through aspen groves to build berms, corralling volunteers, walking the course, even firing the starting gun.
Time Outside: 40 percent. (The balance goes to honing your PR savvy behind a desk.)
Payback: Executive producerscan expect to pocket $55,000-$65,000.
Prerequisites: Unless raking up orange peels is your idea of a career, you'll need to bring computer and marketing skills to the job.
Networking: Start out volunteering at high-profile events such as the High-Tec Adventure Racing Series (818-707-8866; www.mesp.com). And make Detail your middle name: "If you forget the safety pins," says Pat Follet, who organizes mountain-bike races for Team Big Bear in California, "you could screw up the entire race."
Peon to Pro: Aim for making executive producer—supervising a staff of ten—within five years.
Drudge Factor: Pounding slalom flags into mountainsides with a giant hammer.
Outlook: Promising. With participation in the 1999 Hi-Tec series up 40 percent from last year, look for an expanding race calendar.