How to Organize a Foot Race

Analyze your costs and break even point - You typically need to provide:
Here is a print out to help you keep track of your Race budget: click here

  • Insurance (Click Here)

  • T-shirts (click here)

  • Food (post race) & water (post race and on the course)

  • Door prizes (optional, but a good time killer while waiting for results)

  • Race timing and scoring (see below)

  • Traffic control (police)   (see below)

  • Course certification

  • Overall Winner and Masters Winner trophies

  • Age group awards (click here) in 5 year increments, up to 70+

  • Sponsors can help defray costs by donating door prizes (or maybe even cash).  Offer them advertising on your T-shirts.

  • Determine fee; suggestion, for a small local race typically $25 pre-registration, $35 day of race (your option, of course)

Reserve your date (see policies)



Making the race attractive to runners.

  • Set the Start Time (Earlier is better for most runners, unless the race is a distant location such as Bishop or Kingsville)

  • An early start (7:00am) is imperative in hot weather

  • Remember, the start time is for the benefit of the runners, in fact, the entire event should be organized for their benefit to attract the largest possible participation.

Your Responsibilities

  • Race scoring and results - nothing infuriates runners more that waiting around for two hours for the awards ceremony.  If you have planned ahead and understand the scoring system, results should be available in less than an hour.  This is the expectation.  If you need help, ASK.

  • Choose the events - many organizers combine a  5k and 10k run and 2m walk, for instance

  • Design a race flyer with all relevant information: date, location, age groups, fee, phone and email contacts, etc.

  • There are online registration services available:  SignMeUp is one we use

  • Create a facebook page for the event (optional)

  • Choose your venue

  • Measure and mark the course (see below)

  • Water stops

  • Turnaround

  • Permits

  • Insurance

  • Traffic Control

  • Again, choose locations for the benefit of the RUNNERS, not your own group

Venues Runners Like

  • New locations

  • Hills

  • Scenery

  • Shade in hot weather

Course layout

  • If not certified, don’t use a bicycle, use two different cars, do the route twice with each car, average the results

  • Certification, click here (for a list of previously certified courses click here)

  • Mark the course, every turn, even long straights using spray chalk and/or cones

  • Mile markers are greatly appreciated (spray on street using the chalk)

Get permits from City/Police

  • Contact the City about 6 months in advance to secure your date. They will not allow more than 1 event on a given day. May not be required if you stay off city streets – a park for instance.  Good idea to check with the local parks department concerning other events that might be scheduled for the same day.
    Fill out a parade permit and send it to Lt. Russell Sherman in the traffic division of the Corpus Christi Police Dept. He will forward it to the city engineering dept. so they can come up with a traffic plan. This applies to races on the road only. Off road races do not require a parade permit. The police dept will decide on how many officers to use and they do not charge unless the race is on a Sunday. Races on Sunday are charged overtime. It can be expensive so I don’t recommend having a race on Sunday. Once the engineering dept comes up with a plan they will need to call Steve Feeney with the barricading company for an estimate. The city will also requiring the race director to come in for at least one meeting with the police and engineering dept. The city no longer cones race courses and this company must be used or you have to do it yourself. His number is 361-877-3231. To do it yourself you must demonstrate to the city that you have access to enough cones to do the job.

Get Volunteers for the following:

  • Stuffing race packets (race number, safety pins, T-shirt, goodies)

  • Handing out race packets on day before and on race day

  • Water stops

  • Directing runners

  • Handing out finisher cards

  • Calculating the results

Scoring and Timing    Click here for details

  • A race clock is imperative

  • A finishing chute is a very good idea

  • Small races can be scored with finisher cards

  • Larger races should use computerized timing

Scoring with Finisher Cards

  • The cards are numbered for a REASON!

  • All runners must get a card IN THE ORDER THEY CROSS THE FINISH LINE, whether or not they turn it in.

  • Runners must record their times


Roadrunners Free Services

  • Date reservation

  • Website publicity

  • Advertising in Roadrunners eBlast (Club email)