Form a committee of at least 5 members – Organizing and pulling off a 5k race is not a difficult task, but it takes a LOT of work. It’s best to have a reliable team to assign specific tasks to and give a sense of accountability.
Pre-Approvals – City Approval. Call the city you wish to host the race in and ask the requirements to host a 5k race. You will most likely need to draft up a proposal with details to get pre-approval. Insurance – contact a local insurance agent to draft up a contract. They will have questions about details of the event to give you a quote. Police Assistance – Contact the local police chief about reserving officers for traffic crossings, assuming your route requires runners to do so.
Map it out – Create your race! Consider a location with good parking, bathrooms, and your start/finish area. A 5k is 3.1 miles long. Getting the course certified will be an added benefit for serious runners and is highly recommended. Certification lasts 5 years.
Timing Company – The best way to attract serious runners is to provide official chip timing. This needs to be booked in advance. Make sure you understand all costs and fees associated.
Sponsorships – The initial setup of a race can be pricey, but not if you have sponsorships! A sponsorship with a return of getting a logo on the back of the T-Shirt or race day sign is a great way to reduce out of pocket expense. Draft up a letter explaining your cause and graciously asking to consider a sponsorship will go a long way! There is no limit to how many sponsors you can get, as long as you can fit them on the shirt! Don’t forget to send an official thank you letter with the amount sponsored for their records.
Donations – Providing runners with ample snacks and water for race day will really make a lasting impression and it’s not difficult to get something like this donated from your local grocery store as long as you ask in advance. Don’t forget to have water provided at the halfway point, too!
Race website – RunSignUp is a great way to create your race site. It’s incredibly user-friendly and customizable.
T-shirts – Get creative and come up with your own design that features the cause of the race! You will want to order the shirts no later than 2 weeks prior to race day. You should have a good idea of how many runners you will have and can customize size orders. Be sure for runners who signed up in advance have their size reserved.
Signs – Order signs to post up along the route so runners know exactly where they need to be running and never have to question the route. Adding company logos to your signs are a great way to get more sponsorships!
Age Groups for Awards – It’s pretty much standard for awards to get broken up into the top three for male and female age groups. It generally goes by 5. A popular example for awards is 9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, etc. until 70+. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your awards! Whatever your organization is based on, try do have awards that are relevant to the cause. Police-themed race may have engraved handcuffs. The overall 1stplace for male and female get an award that is a little bigger/more special than all the rest.
Extras: Music, raffle items, official pre-race group stretch, swag items to add to t-shirt pickup, or a coffee booth are all extra things you can provide.