Sunday, November 16, 2008

So you want to stage a road race?

This is the time of year when I start getting requests from those looking to stage a running event in 2009. Funny how every one of these organizations wants to stage a 5k. What ever happened to the 10k or longer? Are we saturated with 5k's here in the area? I guess not. My new half marathon at the DE Marathon may be the only new race I organize in 2009 longer than a 5k. I get requests from organizations wanting to promote new parks, from folks who have lost a loved one, from existing race directors who are unhappy with the direction their race is going, to schools looking to raise funds. The first thing Ido is to put a budget ESTIMATION together for them so they can see what it will cost to stage a 5k. I like to work with the goal of having 200 participants. The number one comment I make is that to "make money you need sponsors to help pay expenses." Here is an example I use to show how important sponsorship is for a road race. A few years back Westside Health staged a 5k. 80 folks signed up at pre registration price. But race day was disaster. A nor'easter came through and even though we were able to get this event in only 40 folks finished the race. Not many signed up race day due to weather. But you know what.....these folks listened to what I said about getting sponsors. They ended up grossing $12,000. So for those who are considering a road race as a fundraiser......I would love to help you out....but remember....."it takes money to make money".