You have run the races, finished pumped up for your next 5K Run and now you are even considering taking strides to organizing a race of your own. Besides the obvious mandate of “Safety First”, what comes next?
Delivering top benefits to your ideal run participant increases the odds that you’ll make the money you need for your charity, school or town. With an eye on what runners want most from the experience, you can organize a 5K run or marathon so that no one with a stop watch would miss it.
Experienced run organizers recommend you:
1. Pick a beautiful route that’s easy to get to. Even the most tested run organizers have a story about how they came up with a great, unique idea (pumpkin patch to pumpkin patch; around a football stadium) that flopped because the location was considered to far or too hard to get to.
The straightest route will not be fun if the scenery is monotonous. Find a gorgeous or intriguing route and you deliver more than just exercise and competition, you deliver an experience, an escape that stays with an athlete for years to come. Make this one of the first items to tackle when you organize a 5K run or marathon.
2. Get your 5K Run Swag On. The extra items from the run extend its value beyond run day; swag is often the concrete reward those on the fence need to commit.
T-shirts are the go-to favorite because they reveal the wearer as a brave and fit athlete who made it to the finish line. Rewards also serve as conversation starters (“Why yes. I AM a runner). This said, many runs across the country have started giving away items in addition to T-shirts.
Mugs, luggage straps, flash drives, nylon grocery bags and more rewards can be imprinted with the event’s logo which seems to defray the entrance fee in the runner’s mind. Some runs even create whole “goodie bags” where sponsors place their own giveaways and coupons.
Everybody loves free stuff. Work it. Boost your entrance fee by $5 if you have to.
3. Shovel Prizes to Participants. Expand your idea of “winners” past first, second and third when you organize a 5K run. A medal for each participant reflects a willingness to take on a running challenge, something most won’t do.
Let people know when you’re publicizing the run that commemorative medals go to all participants, prizes go to the top 10 finishers and the top 3 win cash awards in addition to celebratory trophies. If yours is a “fun run” or family run, you can expand your prizes outside of athletic ability to best costume or best kid runner. With room to write several lines of text, a run plaque can commemorate the day, not only with the run logo, but with specific categories and awards. Run winners are entitled to trophies , definitely the largest award of the day.
4. Reassure Participants about Safety. The experience, swag and exhilaration may appeal to a runners’ emotional side, but what about their rational nature? Show that you know how to organize a 5k run by explaining that:
- The route has been permitted by the city or county in which you reside. The route will be demarcated by cones.
- Water stations exist along the route
- Police and medical personnel will be in attendance
A great deal of planning goes into a run. In fact, the organizer of the Boston Marathon insists on one year in advance to put everything in place. You will be handling: your city (for permitting), the Police, porta-potties, EMTs and ambulances available, water availability, run timing devices, marketing and much more. Start early.
5. Don’t Forget the Timing Devices! Beyond swag and prizes, runners covet getting concrete evidence of how well they did. They’ll repeat that chip time number dozens of times in the day after the run.
While promoting your run, make sure to emphasize how the 5K race will be timed. If you have a big run, you may have the money up front to rent the chips that go in each runner’s shoe. If not, you can rent or borrow a digital display clock from a local running club or school and runners will need to track their own time. When you organize a 5k run, this is one of the first aspects to pin down.
Think Benefits to Runners First when You Organize a 5K Run or Marathon
Organized 5Ks and marathons do great things for runners. The run breaks athletes out of an often solo hobby, gets them into a refreshing, new neighborhood and helps them meet others with a passion for the sport.
Run medals, trophies and awards come with embossed or engraved winged shoes, male and female running figures, photos of a running team and more. These fun keepsakes help participants view your run as a well-organized and high-quality event.
Consider all factors when you organize a 5K race or marathon and you will not only run the distance but may also be chosen “world’s best” at the finish line!
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