certain necessities that should be considered with every event.
Here they are in no particular order:
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
items - These items may not be necessary but can make a significant difference
in how your event is perceived.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.