To help offer a ‘how to’ when planning an event that could build local community while helping women and girls of South Sudan lift themselves out of extreme poverty, we thought we’d take a look at what goes into putting together a 5K! Here are some steps you could take to make your idea happen. We love to see you “doing your thing“!
Step 1: Choose a location
• Make sure the location is easily accessible to ensure maximum attendance
• Select a safer, more familiar part of town that feels comfortable/accessible to all
• Consider using a course or route from a previous race that has already proven successful
Step 2: Choose a date/establish a timeline
• Take into account holiday schedules as well as the season and weather patterns most suitable for running in your town
• Find a date when you won’t encounter a lot of competition from other races
• Timeline: give yourself plenty of time to organize volunteers, publicize, and prepare for your race. Determine the number of runners that may be in attendance.
• Depending on how you want to organize things, consider downloading or purchasing a race software to help you with registration and reporting.
Step 3: Set a realistic goal for number of participants in your race
• Determine what resources you have available (volunteers, advertising venues, etc.)
• Because you are doing this in support of a major cause, typically more people will decide to participate
Step 4: Get permission/ensure the presence of insurance!
• This is very important as certain permits from your city/town are typically required before you can advertise, promote, and commit. Liability insurance is also important to have and may usually be purchased at a very reasonable cost (if a church or place of worship opts to underwrite/sponsor your event, they may have insurance that covers such an event however, it would be necessary to confirm this).
Step 5: Consider important safety procedures
• Make sure you have plenty of water throughout the course
• Make sure proper traffic control is present to keep cars off of the race course (especially in a big city)
• Have volunteers create clear signage that helps keep runners on the correct path
Make sure to have medical personnel present Have people willing to take pictures, short videos and testimonials so you can send them to Sister Effect
Step 6: Plan the logistics
• Consider creating a to-do list
• Here’s an example:
- Create a Race-Day Checklist (sample)
- Accurately marked and measured course
- Volunteer timers and clocks along the race course
- Organized registration process
- Method for recording results
- Awards and presentation of awards
- Medical presence
- Water stations (with volunteers)
- Restrooms Permits from local authorities
- Music and food for pre- and post-race
- (optional) Goodie bags (consider including information about South Sudan and Sister Effect) and t-shirts
Step 7: Build a budget
• Determine amount of money each participants would pay
• Keep your costs low because you want to donate as much as possible
• Some potential costs include the following: t-shirts, police presence, stop watches, signs, cones, water/snacks, awards, etc.
• Solicit donations for this Sister Effect event from local businesses, hospitals, corporations and churches that may be beyond the cost of the race. With our 100% pledge, all donated money for the event will go to event’s intended purpose.
• Consider looking for sponsors to help off-set the cost of race supplies (network online and through friends to see what sponsors might be willing to participate; businesses, nutritionists, chiropractors, personal trainers)
• Sponsors might donate items such as power bars, sandwiches, cupcakes, goodie bags, or water bottles
Step 8: Promote your race. Get the word out!
• Use the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Email invitations, Pinterest)
• With permission, advertise in local stores frequented by runners – and women and girls in general!
• Post an advertisement in the newspaper or a local magazine
• Let Sister Effect know your plans, and we may be able to assist with some helpful aspects and post details on our website!
• Word of mouth (talk to your friends about what you’re doing and why)
Step 9: Day of the race
• Be the first one at the race location to help set up and let people know where to go
• Make sure volunteers are prepared to have things ready well before the race actually starts
• Have water stations and volunteers set up early along the race course
• Pre-race: welcome people, show them where the restroom is, give them their bib numbers or t-shirts
• Main-event: prepare to address any difficulties or emergencies that might arise
• Post-event: set up awards ceremony, have snacks and water ready, consider sharing some about the needs in South Sudan and how the participants in the race are playing a part in helping the Southern Sudanese women
• Have clean-up crew ready to help after the race
• Most of all: Be prepared for some of the unexpected!
Step 10: Say thank you (this is absolutely HUGE!!)
Be sure to offer heartfelt thanks to sponsors, volunteers, local authorities and police, and anyone else who helped you! If your forum includes announcements about the race, its results, etc., be sure to use this time to recognize these incredible participants as well as any Southern Sudanese walkers/runners present. Post race times and pictures to a blog or website so that participants and families can remember the experience! Again, do this with a huge ‘thank- you’ to all!