Race Planning

Race Planning Timeline
Printer Friendly: Race Planning Timeline

A monthly Committee meeting schedule should be developed at the first meeting 8 months from race day. All Committee members to report progress at each meeting

8 Months from Race Day

1. Create a Committee - assign duties, Race Director (sponsors, publicity, permits, budget, insurance), Registration Coordinator (forms, publicity, race bibs, pins, packet prep), Course Marshal (measure, map, mark, cleanup), Volunteer Coordinator (volunteer acquisition, assign jobs, training, race day coordination), Awards Coordinator (design, order, double check amount needed, giveaways, ribbons, raffles, announcer, ceremony), Food Coordinator (source in-kind sponsorship of food, pre-race day pickup, race day distribution start & finish, aid stations, cleanup) Logistics Coordinator (identify possible conflicts, railroad schedules, road construction race day, businesses on route conflicts, lead vehicle, follow vehicle, coordinate during race communications i.e. cell phones, two way radios).

2. Secure Sponsors; obtain logos for inclusion in all advertising and on entry forms. On-going... Never stop looking for sponsors. If needed hire sponsor coordinator and pay 15% of funds raised.

6 Months from Race Day

1. Confirm the Date, Time, and Budget for your race. Recommended - Late Registration price increase listed on the entry that is $2 jump in cost at the 2 week out point to help get early entries. Then Very Late Registration - day before race and race day jump of $5 for added incentive to register early.

2. Design the entry form for your race. Runners Edge input required. Then post your race on your website and all other local running related websites - www.runnersedgeracetiming.com, www.endurancesports.biz, www.michiganrunner.net, www.gazellesports.com to name a few. An Online entry site should be listed on the entry blank and all website calendars as well. Runners Edge can coordinate setup and development of your online signup. Online entry is essential for increasing your overall participation and helps make organizing all participants easier.

3. Hire Runners Edge Race Timing to provide fast and accurate results for your race. Dates fill fast and it is always wise to secure those contractors that are date controlled.

4. Order Bib numbers - here are a couple of sources for quality, reasonably priced Bibs. Runners World, 866-923-RACE. Custom Bibs custom made for your event with your event name on each Bib - Rainbow Racing, 800-962-1011, Marathon Printing, 800-255-4120. You can also get free Bibs from, www.RoadID.com.

5. Get permission for use of the facilities where the race will start and end, School, City, County, Park, or Business. Get approval from community organizations and law enforcement. Arrange for Police and Medical support for race day. You may have to pay fees for these services.

6. Arrange for insurance for the event.

7. Start designing and receiving quotes for your Awards and T-Shirts.

4 Months from Race Day

1. Publish entry form and have available at all local races prior to your race. Distribute 30-40 entries to all sports and running shoe stores and gyms and fitness centers in the area. Check stock at all distribution points every two weeks until race week.

2. Identify race course. Measure and mark. USATF course measurement recommended for accuracy. Bicycle computer not accurate. Car odometer not accurate. GPS close but not accurate. Contractors wheel not accurate. If you are advertising a 5K, it should be a 5K. Not a 5K less/more 100 feet or so. Plus USATF certified courses will yield greater participation.

1.5 months from Race Day

1. Order Awards and T-Shirts

2. Mass mail or mass email of entry to local runners.

1 Month from Race Day

1. Inform TV/Radio/Newspaper sources for inclusion in their public service announcements.

2. Send Sponsors a get ready letter.

1 Week from Race Day

1. Packet assembly with volunteer meeting. Have all volunteers come to a meeting at least 3 days prior to race day to get their t-shirt and to get any information about their particular job at the race. While there, they can help in assembly of any packets you would like pre-made for Pre-Registered and Very Late Registration handout.

2. Coordinate with Runners Edge the distribution of completed race forms. If online signup is used, Runners Edge can just download.

3. Coordinate with facility personnel. Check toilet availability, electricity availability, sprinkler timing (you don't want the sprinklers to go off on your registration tables), collect any keys that may be needed.

Race Day!!

1. All Committee members present and performing their assigned tasks.

2. Be at race site at least 1 hour prior to the start of Very Late Registration. Runners Edge will be there 1.5 hours before start of Very Late Registration.

3. Inspect facilities - Gates unlocked, toilets open, supply of toilet paper, electricity available and turned on. Have cell number of facility manager just in case.

4. Coordinate with Runners Edge the Sportag Distribution for the Registration tables.

5. Volunteers to report to their Committee member minimum of 30 minutes prior to race.

6. Touch base with Police and Medical personnel.

7. Announce start of race 30, 15, and 10 minutes prior to race, remind runners that they must turn in their Sportag after the race at the finish line area, thank all the sponsors and volunteers for their participation.

8. Call runners to starting line, make pre-race announcements, traffic or weather announcements, and once again remind runners that they must turn in their Sportag after the race at the finish line area.

Ready, Set, Go!!!

Preliminary results will be posted periodically during the race, any changes or corrections are to handled now, not during the awards ceremony.

Award ceremony to begin in a timely fashion for each race. Example: 5K awards can be given during the 10K race. This will allow the 5K participants to get on with the rest of their day.

Results will be posted at www.RunnersEdgeRaceTiming.com within 4 hours following the race. Runners Edge will supply the Race Director with HTML files of the results for posting at their website. Runners Edge will send results to newspapers.

Runners Edge will email "Personal Results" to all entrants that provided a valid email address.

Post Race

Plan wrap up meeting with your Race Committee. Write down all comments about what went well and what didn't go well for next years review.

Pay bills in a timely manor. Vendors and contractors requiring payment appreciate quick payment and will be willing to respond accordingly for next year’s race.

Send Thank You letters to all sponsors, both in-kind and money sponsors.

This "Race Planning Timeline" is a simple guide only and may not be applicable to all races. Feel free to use and adjust as needed, to your situation.


Ever here of Garbage In = Garbage Out? Yep that definitely can happen for a running event. Excellent planning for Race Day Registration and Quality Control of the data given will increase the likelihood that you will have Great Results, Every Time. Here are a few simple tips:

1. Design a Race Day Entry Form - This is a special form used only on Race Day. It does not have all the information your early form has on it. The Late Registration participants are not going to read it anyway. This entry form is on a full sheet of paper, only has the registration information on it. Use large blocks for the runner to fill in rather than lines. Even the most hurried runner is forced to print each character in the block thus making it more readable and reducing any corrections needed later. Have "PLEASE PRINT LEGIBLY" at the top of the form, and add "Age and Gender required for Age Group Awards". Finally if the Quality Control person at the VLR table can't read it, the data entry person won't be able to read it either. It is very important to have the Quality Control person edit where needed.

2. People Flow - Organize the Very Late Registration table like check out at the grocery store. One line, single file to process all Very Late Registrants. This controls the influx of late registrants and eliminates the congestion and confusion that happens when they can just walk up to the table four or five at a time. Ask Derek for more detailed descriptions of this process.

3. Label Family Members Bibs - If dad comes up to register everyone else in the family, be sure to write the name of the other family members on the bib itself so that dad won't get confused handing out the bibs to everyone later.

4. Quality Control - All data required and readable entry form. Already covered that but just thought I would mention it again.

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