If you plan to organize and host a race, you will want to do whatever it takes to ensure that everything will be ready for your assistants and runners on race day. There are many details that need to be addressed, and taking the time to get everything in proper order will help you achieve greater success with your race event planning. Here are some of the key factors that you will want to address when organizing a race.
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1. Plan the Race Course
Your race event planning course should be planned in a way that is easy for runners to follow. The course itself should be in a location that is suitable for runners. Whether you want the course to be hilly or flat or a mix of different terrains, it is important to make sure that the route is safe and appropriate for runners of different skill levels. It is further imperative that the distance of the race (5k, 10k, marathon, etc.) be measured out correctly so that it is accurate.
Take a look at these race course mapping tools to help you out.
Race Event Planning Permits
No matter where you plan to hold the race, you will need to get permission from the city, county or property owner. Not getting permission far enough in advance could result in your race being canceled. You will likely be required to obtain one or multiple permits for your race to receive the proper authorization.
See How Other Races are Organized
You can learn a lot from your competitors, and researching other races is a great way to get ideas for your event. Everything from different race themes to how each race registers their runners can be learned and put to use in organizing your race. Attending some of these races as a spectator or participant or simply checking out the different race event planning websites can give you all the details that you need to organize your race better.
Race Event Planning Theme and Name
Many races have specific themes to try to set themselves apart from other races and entice more runners to enter. Your race could celebrate a certain holiday or involve people running in costumes. Some races that are on the less-competitive side center around foods or drinks (such as chocolate or wine). For a more challenging event, you can try organizing a military-style race complete with an obstacle course. Choosing a catchy name for your event that reflects your race’s theme will also be an effective way to generate interest from participants.
Race Event Planning Racer Signup
If you do not advertise the race effectively, you could end up with a very small turnout on race day which would not be good for your race event planning. Printing flyers and posting them in various parts of the city or town in or near where the race is expected to be held can get people interested to sign up for the event. Advertising in a print or an online magazine that is geared toward runners can also be beneficial. You might even consider paying for ads online to promote your race to a wider range of people. Of course, social media is also an effective marketing tool. You can even try creating banners and signs and contacting local news stations to promote your event to a wider audience.
Registration Process Race Event Planning
Having runners register online through a website that allows easy signup and payment processing is generally the way to go, but you can also choose to have runners sign up in person. If you want people to sign up online, there are event-management software programs that can simplify the process.
It takes money to put on a race, and raising funds from different sources will make it possible for you to host the best event imaginable. Along with funds raised from race entry fees, you can try getting money from corporate sponsors who will be interested in working with you in exchange for letting them advertise their brands at the race. You can also ask for extra money by way of charitable donations. Establishing a budget before the race will allow you to know exactly how much money you need to raise versus what you plan to spend to organize the race.
Get Your Race Event Planning Staff Organized
Most races rely on the support of volunteers, but you can also choose to hire paid staff members to help you conduct your event. Race event planning directors should be on staff to manage the logistics of the race. Staff will be needed to hand out race numbers and goodie bags to runners. Depending on how long the race is, you might also need people to hand out drinks and snacks at designated stations along the course to runners. Staff members should be stationed at the start and finish lines so that accurate race times can be recorded.
Race Event Planning Medical Personel
Runners can get injured during a race, and you will want to have qualified medical personnel on staff who can provide the necessary care. Muscle strains, dehydration and overheating can all cause someone to require prompt medical attention to avoid further problems. Your medical team should also have a full stock of all the necessary supplies to administer the proper care. If you plan to organize a longer race like a marathon, having a medical tent onsite will be especially good for your runners.
Protect Against Liabilities
You don’t want to be held legally liable for anything that might go wrong, and having sufficient liability protection in order prior to the race can keep you out of trouble. Getting insurance coverage for the event is one of the best ways to avoid litigation if any runners suffer injuries or other problems and want to hold you accountable. Having runners sign waivers stating that they are aware of the risks of running and accept these risks can also keep you out of trouble.
Get Race Gear for Race Event Planning
Race bibs that display numbers for your runners and have timing stubs with barcodes to accurately record participants’ finishing times will be important to have. You should also order medals or trophies to award to the top finishers in your race. You might even choose to get finisher medals to give to all participants. T-shirts that are available in different sizes and feature the name of your race can be ordered as well. Goodie bags are also good to offer, and they can be filled with healthy snacks, simple souvenirs and other gear that may be furnished by race sponsors.
Choose On-Course Snacks and Drinks
To keep runners energized and hydrated, you will want to have drink and snack stations set up along the course. For drinks, you can serve small cups of water or some sort of sports drink that does not contain caffeine or any other diuretic properties that may cause dehydration. Energy bars and gels work well for on-course snacks. If the race is the distance of a half or full marathon or longer, you should also have snacks and drinks available in the finish area for runners to replenish themselves after the race.
Arrange an Expo (optional)
Organizing a runners’ expo to take place before the race can get people more excited. Expos are especially popular for marathons. The expo can include more detailed information about the course. You can also allow race sponsors to set up booths where they sell products or offer free product samples. Running shoes, jackets and other types of gear can be sold at the expo as well.
Race Event Planning Reserve Course Equipment
Your race event planning should include course equipment that will help runners stay on track. Cones, barriers, and ropes can be used to line the course so that runners don’t wander astray accidentally. Timing equipment at the start and finish lines should also be set up to record accurate race times. If the race is expected to take place at night or when outdoor light is limited because of the weather, lighting equipment along the course should be in place. To get runners more excited about running the race, sound equipment that plays music can also be used.
Install Portable Toilets
Nature may call at any time, and this is especially true while running. Having portable toilets stationed at the start and finish areas should be standard protocol for any race. If the race is longer than a 5k, you will also want to have portable toilets stationed along parts of the course. These portable toilets should be stocked with enough toilet paper for the number of runners that you expect to participate. Handwashing stations outside the portable toilets are also advisable to prevent the spread of germs.
Offer Optional Course Tours
If you are organizing a longer race that covers the distance of several miles, offering tours of the course can help runners feel more assured about what to expect. The tour may include a bus ride along the course with a tour guide to explain the different sections and answer any questions. You may choose to offer these tours for free to registered race participants or for an additional fee.
Find Ways to Create Excitement for Next Year’s Race Event Planning
If you plan to make the race an annual event, it will be important for you to find ways to get race participants excited about entering next year’s race. This may also prompt runners to tell their friends and family members about the race, which could result in a large number of participants the next year. Giving away coupons and other freebies is a great way to show gratitude to the runners who entered and encourage them to return again for another race.
Race Event Planning Post-Race Cleanup
The racecourse and start and finish areas will likely be in a messy state once the race is over. The trash from used cups, energy packs and snack bar wrappers may be littered throughout the location, and you will want to have staff members who are available to assist with post-race cleanup duties. The portable toilets may also need to be cleaned before being returned to the company that loaned them. Also, you will need to take down the race equipment that was used to mark the course and record start and finish times.
Have a Way to Post Race Results Quickly
Many runners are anxious to learn their exact finishing times to know whether they have achieved a new PB. You can make the results available on the race event planning website within 24 hours or a few days after the conclusion of the race. The results should include each runner’s name, bib number and finishing time. You may also choose to include the times that runners achieved at certain points along the course.
Your race event planning will go smoother if you remember to address all the important details in an orderly fashion. By following these tips, you will be on your way to organizing a race that will be remembered for all the right reasons.
Call today to order your custom branded race event supplies. (801) 872-4055