Type Of Race
5K? 10K? Obviously you want to attract the most runners to your event, and the type of race you select can have a definite impact. More runners will be able to finish a 5K, and with less course space, you'll require fewer aid stations and course marshals. Also, more women are likely to participate in a 5K, so if reaching women is important to your sponsor or cause, this is a consideration as well.
10K races have the advantage of being unique, since most races in a given weekend will be 5K. They provide a challenge that runners may not be able to get anywhere else that weekend.
Or maybe you want to give runners a choice and offer two or more race distances. This will increase the number of participants you attract, but it will also give you more work.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Having two races may decrease the impact of your race; you'll have two smaller races rather than a main event.
2. You'll need additional course marshals, awards, water, etc., which is likely to increase your costs.
Here are some tips if you decide to offer multiple distances:
1. Schedule the race starts so that the slowest runners in the first race will reach the finish line before the fastest runners in the second race. If this can't happen, provide a lead vehicle for each race, or it may be best to have two separate courses.
2. Weather is a consideration - in the summer, runners of long race distances will not want to be finishing up in the midday heat. Start the longer race first, so that they'll be finishing before the hottest part of the day.
3. If races are to be on the same course, have water stations at appropriate intervals for each distance.
4. Have two separate awards ceremonies directly after each race, so that participants of the first race don't have to wait around for the second to end.
If you have a 5K, you're likely to have some kids 14 years and younger running in your race. In order to have an event that is safe for everyone, if you anticipate that your race will attract many children, you may want to add in a separate fun run just for kids - a short race which can be lots of fun. By having a separate race, you can encourage whole-family participation in your event. Visit www.kidsrunning.com for more ideas.