Guide To Creating a Race

Suggested Timeline

This list is not intended to be all-inclusive but rather to provide a basic guideline for you to put on a successful event, and to guide you or a potential client in accomplishing the main tasks of a road race. Races have been put together in much less time than this timeline recommends. Please feel free to add to or subtract from this list, and most of all have a good time putting on your own road race!

7 Months Out

  • Select a date
  • Review race calendar for conflicts
  • Decide on a name for the race
  • Determine cause of race and fund raising
  • Determine race distance and course
  • Seek approval from authorities and obtain required permits 
  • Determine cost of required police security
  • Purchase permits for roadway or park
  • Call timing company for availability (card finish or chip) 
  • Start your preliminary budget
  • Start soliciting a title sponsor and other sponsors

6 Months Out

  • Continue to solicit sponsors
  • Set up committees and assign responsibilities 
  • Measure the course (certify if necessary) 
  • Determine race promotion details

5 Months Out

  • Continue to solicit sponsors
  • Begin work on entry form (layout, logos, maps,
  • registration pricing, sponsors)
  • Approve event budget
  • Update race organizers on responsibilities and progress
  • Approve race logo
  • Decide what the age group breakdowns will be and
  • research creative award ideas

4 Months Out

  • Have entry form completed and printed
  • Secure insurance for event
  • Determine registration ancl form drop off/ mail to locations 
  • Develop and approve t-shirt design
  • Order t-shìrts
  • Continue to solicit sponsors

3 Months Out

  • Distribute entry forms
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Update race organizers on progress of event 
  • Order supplies (pens, trash cans, chalk, tape, etc.) 
  • Order rental equipment (tents, chairs, tables, etc.)
  • Finalize registration / packet pick-up procedures
  • Order banners (if necessary)
  • Print t-shìrts

2 Months 0ut

  • Continue distribution of race flyer
  • Prepare other printed materials for race and/or packets
  • Update all supply and rental orders
  • Establish volunteer groups (registration, water, food, course,
  • chip clip, finish, etc.)
  • Update race organizers and sponsors on event
  • Order trophies / awards
  • Confirm medical support
  • Confirm refreshment suppliers (water, soft drinks etc.)
  • Confirm food supplier (post race food, volunteer food)
  • Order portable toilets
  • Order sound system (DJ or Band)
  • Check course for markings or construction
  • Begin media promotion (TV, radio, internet)
  • Order rental barricades and cones (if necessary)
  • Order race numbers (with plenty of safety pins)

1 Month Out

  • Meet on location with police, race marshals, station groups,
  • lead vehicle, start and finish line coordinators
  • Begin registration and packet pickup preparation
  • Distribute advisory flyer in neighborhoods (if necessary)
  • Hold meeting to update committee members and sponsors
  • Review t-shirt quantities (extra print or rain checks)
  • Review all deliveries and setup procedures
  • Continue registration and packet pickup preparation
  • Take delivery on trophies and awards

Week Of Race

  • Continue registration and packet preparation
  • Packet pick-up should be 1 to 2 days prior to event 
  • Meet with key supervisors and coordinators
  • Confirm security and police presence on course 
  • Confirm timing company
  • Confirm porta-potty delivery
  • Confirm delivery of supplies and services (food, drinks)

Race Day 

  • Barricade setup
  • Race day registration and packet-pickup
  • Race course (mile marks, cones, aid stations, start, finish line) 
  • Finish and scoring areas
  • Refreshment and food area
  • Awards presentation area
  • START THE RACE! HAVE FUN!
  • Assure timely results for awards ceremony and/or for the media 
  • Clean up crew (leave the area the way you found it)

Shortly After

  • Post results online and send to finishers (if offered)
  • Send thank you letters to volunteers, sponsors and police 
  • Prepare income and expense report
  • FinallyÍ hold an event evaluation meeting with the race organizing committee and establish 
  • the right and wrong of this year's event and establish an initial plan for next year's,event.

Additional Suggestions

  • T-Shirts: See how late the printing company will be able to print your shirts. Also let them know that you may need to order more at the last minute (if a lot more people than you expect register for the race only a few days out). Look at your size breakdown of those who have already registered at that point right before ordering your shirts, take those percentages and apply them to your expected total number of participants. Remember that having shirts left over after the race is better than not having enough for the participants.
  • Age Groups: Below is a suggested age category breakdown that numerous races have used in the past for awarding the participants. This can be deviated from but keep in mind that a lot of runners have become familiar with these age groups.
    • Overall Female
    • Overall Male
    • Top Master Female (over 40 years old)
    • Top Master Male (over 40 years old)
    • 10 and under Female
    • 10 and under Male
    • 11-14 Female and Male
    • 15-19 Female and Male
    • 20-24 Female and Male
    • 25-29 Female and Male
    • 30-34 Female and Male
    • 35-39 Female and Male
    • 40-44 Female and Male
    • 45-49 Female and Male
    • 50-54 Female and Male
    • 55-59 Female and Male
    • 60-64 Female and Male
    • 65-69 Female and Male
    • 70-74 Female and Male
    • 75-79 Female and Male
    • 80+ Female and Male
  • Awards: Many of the races we have helped with award the top 3 in each category, which totals to over 100 awards, but this is up to the race organizers.

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