Knowing how to organize a running race is a fun way to get involved in the sport of running, or if you're already a runner, it's a good way to see the other side of running a race. Running has become a popular way to get fit and relieve stress for millions of people In 2002, almost 10.5 million Americans ran 100 or more days that year.
The first step to organize a running race is to decide when and where you're going to hold the race, and if it will benefit a specific charity or organization. Most races are fundraisers for different organizations, such as breast cancer research. You will want to work with the organization you are going to fund raise for if you go that route. In terms of when and where, most running races happen on the weekends, when the most number of runners can participate. When picking a place, keep in mind if you want the start and finish line to be in the same place or different places, and the facilities available, such as bathrooms and locker rooms for runners to use.
- Next, you'll need to decide on the length of the running race. Running races are often 5K, 10K, half marathons, marathons, or one-milers, but really, the sky is the limit. You could have a running race of any length, as long as runners would be interested in signing up for it. You will have to plan the course, and may want to get it certified by USA Track and Field (USATF).
- You'll want to find volunteers for the race day, to help people get registered, hand out water, and work at the finish line. Make sure to plan enough water stops so that the runners will be able to stay hydrated. Decide if you're going to time the running race yourself or hire a timing company. Timing is one of the most important aspects of organizing a race. Most races give out free T-shirts to all the runners who participate, so you will want to make sure to you design and order them in plenty of time for race day.
- When you organize the running race, make sure that you promote the race. You can advertise, hand out flyers (especially at other races), and post the information to local running forums. Have a pre-registration, where people can register online or by sending in their application and money. Most race directors also have a day-of registration, which usually costs a bit more.
- Finally, on the day of the race, make sure to keep your volunteers organized and make sure the runners are having a good time. If the runners and volunteers have a great time, they'll come back if you make it an annual event!
Tip: On race day, make sure to have change available since you will need to make change for runners registering that day.