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There are certain necessities that should be considered with every event.   

Here they are in no particular order: 

1.      Access to toilet/restroom facilities - At the very basic level, there should be a porta-john somewhere nearby. This is NOT optional. It is in very bad taste to host an event where women and children are expected to participate and not provide such facilities. 

2.      Garbage Receptacles - Whether or not you have a cleanup team on stand-by, you should always have garbage receptacles around to keep the surroundings clean and safe. 

3.      Water - There should be adequate water supplies before, during and after the event. This is especially important on days when the weather is very hot. Also remember, participants who finish the event last are no less thirsty than those who finish first. In fact they may be more dehydrated for having spent more time in the sun, and should not be penalized for arriving late to the finish line only to find out that you've run out of water, or you've packed everything up. 

4.      First Aid - First aid personnel and transportation is important and should never be considered optional. The First Aid vehicle may follow participants along the route or be immediately available and on alert for potential problems. 

5.      Consistency - Be sure that the details such as location, registration fees and start times that are advertized on your Pride Page™, newspaper and radio are accurate on the day of your event.  Event participants are unanimous in their sentiment that consistency is an important element in the enjoyment of the event.   

6.      Route Markers - Clarifying the event route with markers at every possible turning point and using volunteers to direct the participants on the route is a real necessity. Where there are two possible paths, and there is only one marker, there can be ambiguity and participants do not need an additional headache trying to figure out which path to take. If you are not using timing chips then volunteers may also be positioned at every turning point where it is possible to take a shortcut, to watch out for "cheaters" who may try to take the easy route just to get back faster and get all the goodies.  Some cities will allow you to paint the street.  Otherwise, you can use your volunteers at intersections or use sponsor paid, route markers and have them printed at places Fast Signs.  

7.      Traffic Management - If you do organize your event on the road where traffic flows normally then it is important to have a police presence to regulate traffic so that participants are not impeded or have to stop or feel unsafe while participating in the event. This is not optional at any point in the event.  

8.      Headache-free Registration or Pre-registration - If you can organize pre-registration for your event, do it. It makes things run much smoother on the day of the event. If you cannot have pre-registration, make sure you organize your registration tables properly and staff them with amiable, well-mannered, patient individuals who are knowledgeable about any and everything relating to the event, down to where the porta-johns are located.   

Post signs on the tables to streamline registration.  Organize lines by last name to allow for faster processing and make sure if you are distributing T-shirts on event day to have them properly sorted and label the stacks of shirts so that registration personnel can easily find the size they need.   

9.      Event T-Shirts - If you offer T-shirts and hand them out at the time of registration then having the right sizes is a necessity - Do not supply only huge T-shirts and ignore the fact that there are participants of multiple sizes who will register for your event. Kid's sizes are important if you want to encourage children in healthy habits such as participating in these events. It is better to have no T-shirts and give out a token than to print T-shirts that can only be used as a nightgown. Some women really appreciate a T-shirt that fits their body size.   

PTA/PTO groups that have a fixed number of participants should request t-shirt orders in advance of the event so you will have the correct sizes for each student and parent.   Always order a few extra of each size in case of mistakes.   


Optional items - These items may not be necessary but can make a significant difference in how your event is perceived. 

Some things are just cool to have at your event, either before the event or after, when participants are ready to cool down and have fun.  Here they are in no particular order: 

1.      Music - Nothing gets a person in the mood to move or relax like some good music. Music that is not too loud is just what it takes to turn your 5K event into a mini-fete. Now who doesn't like a party?  This can be accomplished with a stereo and large speakers, a DJ or a local radio station that wants to help sponsor your event and broadcast a "live remote" on the day of your event.  

2.      Mist-Blowers - When the weather is hot and dry, there's nothing more enjoyable than standing near one of those spray mist blowers getting all misty-cooled. The kids love them, just don't let them stand too close or they will get drenched.  

3.      Medals and Trophies - If you are not going to have trophies, at least have a medal or a ribbon for each finisher. It is in poor taste to only give out medals to the first 500 and then have nothing for the remaining participants.   

4.      Goody Bags - Goody bags can come pre-filled or can be given at the finish line to be filled up at various booths, which should only be opened at the end of the event. What are people going to do with all the stuff they collect before the event? If you have goody bags at the finish line, be sure to have sufficient bags for all registrants. It is better to have extra bags than not have enough for those people who actually completed the entire length of the route.  

5.      Electrolyte replacement or sports drinks - Replacing lost electrolytes is important, so having a sports drink on hand at the finish line, in addition to water is always a nice touch. It would also be nice if the drinks provided were not laced with artificial sweeteners when natural sweeteners aka sugar or honey work just fine. Light and refreshing should be the keywords when picking an appropriate sports drink.  

6.      Scenic Routes - Setting a route is difficult because you have to consider traffic issues and also measuring the route so that participants end up where you can host end-of-event activities such as prize-giving etc. While it may not always be possible to have the perfect scenery along the route, it's good to make an effort. In other words, aim for the moon! Having an event along a road where there are zero trees, no shade whatsoever is the worst possible route to have and should be avoided if possible.  


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