It is hard not to notice all of the 5k races that are popping up all around major metropolitan areas. From Hot Chocolate 5k Runs to Zombie 5k Runs, people are finding any excuse to have fun while getting some cardio. With all of the people at these events you will have a lot to think about. You will have to find a venue that can host a large amount of people, and provide the correct terrain for the 5k, you will have to provide adequate parking close enough to the event, and you will have to provide portable restrooms and sanitation to all of the participants and spectators. Organizing all of these things can be overwhelming, so I have compiled a list of planning tips to help you put on the next big 5k run in your area.
1.) Picking the Location
The location of your race is key to bringing in large crowds and local press. Because of this, you will mostly like to schedule these events in big cities. Bigger cities mean more people that are willing to participate, and larger media networks to promote your event. Depending on what type of run you are organizing, you will want to either choose a location that is more spread out, or more rural. If you are organizing a simple 5k or half marathon, you may just want to have it going through a rural park or scenic neighborhood. If, on the other hand, you are planning something like a Zombie 5k or a Tough Mudder race, of course you will want to choose something slightly out of town with more space. Either way, make sure that your location is close enough for people to get to, but rural enough to provide a pleasant experience to all of your runners. Also make sure that the location that you pick has adequate parking for all participants and visitors. If they can’t park, they may not come.
2.) Getting the Proper Permits
When setting up a race, you will more than likely have to shut down streets and re-direct traffic for the duration of the event. Make sure that you have the proper permits before going forward in planning your event.
3.) Setting a Budget
Now that you have your location and all of the proper permits, you will next have to set a budget for the event to make sure that it is financially viable. You will have to think about the cost of paying the employees, planners, police offices and swag items and equipment. All of this will need to be calculated before setting the enrollment fee for all participants. Also think about the cost of creating the event website, and getting the proper promotions and social media information out into the world. It all adds up quickly, so make sure that you won’t go broke putting on this event.
4.) Portable Sanitation and Restrooms
Portable restrooms and hand wash stations are the one of the most important parts of any large outdoor event, and a 5k race is no exception. We usually recommend one portable restroom for every 100 people attending the event. Mary Anderson of Anderson Races also recommends placing the restrooms near water stops and along the course of the race. This will provide adequate restroom facilities to runners and observers at any point in the race. The last thing you want is to force people to search out the restrooms, especially if they have running to do. Hand wash stations are also a good amenity to provide for your runners and spectators. These foot pump hand wash stations will provide users with a sanitary experience on the day of your race. Also, make sure that you book your restrooms out well in advance to ensure that the portable restroom company has adequate time to plan and will be able to put the restrooms on reserve for you.
Keep in mind that this is just a general outline of the steps that should be taken. To ensure that all your bases are covered, seek out professional help in planning your event. Now start planning and have fun!