While not the longest-running race series on Zwift, KISS has taken Zwift by storm in the past few months, quickly becoming the most popular series in rider numbers. And it’s easy to see why–the team of organizers has worked hard to keep things consistently simple and fair.
Tell me a little about yourself–how long you’ve been riding, what sort of riding you do, when you discovered Zwift, where you live, etc.
Hello, my name is Wayne Elvin, I’m 37 and from South East Kent in the UK. I started riding in 2012 after 7 years of not going anywhere near a bike. I’d stopped playing football due to injuries and cycling was my aim as it’s low impact and would hopefully keep me fit and healthy.
As I had just started my own family around that time indoor cycling was my best choice so I started with the ‘Spinervals’ videos and then found the ‘Sufferfest’ videos which I loved and did them quite a lot including the 2015 tour. Then came along Zwift, my first time on Jarvis Island and I was lucky enough to ride with Jens Voigt for 30mins (he was taking it easy!)… this got me hooked.
How would you describe your philosophy as a race organizer? What is most important to you when organizing Zwift races?
I’m lucky enough to have two other race organizers (Glen Knight and Michael Ede) so we discuss (a lot) about what we can do to make things easier or to add to the enjoyment of our race. As a team we seem to work very well.
My aim is to keep everyone happy and to make sure everyone enjoys themselves when racing, listening to the group on any comments they have and trying to answer any questions they have.
What race(s) are you currently organizing on Zwift, and how long have you been doing them? What makes these races different than other Zwift races?
I help run the Monday and Thursday Night KISS races. I had done a few races on Zwift and really enjoyed the experience; unfortunately most of the races were a bit too early for me (kids’ bath time and bedtime got in the way) then in October a race was organized by Timmy Pinder (ARCC) for 8pm UK time which fit in perfectly with me. After a few weeks Timmy had technical issues so couldn’t race anymore, as I wanted to carry on with these I started posting on the Facebook forum about the race and helping people with the rules and race info. Then at the end November Glen Knight and Michael Ede both contacted me and asked if they could help in anyway, and that’s where it all started.
The differences between our race and the others are – we allow Power Ups to be used at anytime on any lap, Standing start (no rolling neutral) we allow any bike to be used, Zwift put all these features into their game so we like to use them. It also gives people more variety on the races that they can participate in.
What suggestions would you give to someone interested in joining your races for the first time?
Just try it and see how you get on, look at all the races that are held and pick one that suits you, read the race info and rules, read through any posts on that race (there’s plenty on the forums!) ask any questions if you can’t find the answer, then turn up on time and enjoy yourself! We have 80+ racing most nights, most know they’re not going to win but it’s not about winning it’s about pushing yourself and having some fun, Type 2 Fun!! (Google it)
Nathan Guerra’s videos add so much more to the races as well, how someone can talk for over an hour about people he doesn’t know is amazing, and it doesn’t matter where you finish you’ll still skip to the end to find your sprint and then show (bore) your friends and family!
If the folks at Zwift HQ could add one feature to Zwift to make your job easier, what would it be and why?
A small feature called – Race Module!
People could select a race in the same way as they currently choose ‘Flat’ or ‘Hilly’ course in the drop down menu (race organizers would be able to create races with the correct details about power ups, bikes, type of course, how many laps, start time). Here you’d see the race rules / race info (laps etc) and you’d be given a race CAT (Zwift knows your FTP and weight) that would then be added to your surname.
Then you’d be taken to a closed course (only racers for that race would be on that course) where you’d be held behind the line but still able to pedal and warm up, you’d then see a countdown and when it hits zero everyone would be released (Zwift could keep everyone at a set speed for the warm up so no flyers at the start). You’d be the only ones on that course so you know exactly who you’re racing against, you’d be able to see the lap/KOM/sprint times for those only in that race.
Then when finished you’d have all these results instantly, breakdown of CAT results, breakdowns of KOM and Sprints. Easy!