MANAGE YOUR TEAM
Treat your effort like a bona fide business. “Right from the off, allocate roles with specific responsibilities – fail to prepare and prepare to fail,” says Pratley. “The key roles are an overall race director – who takes ultimate responsibility, start/finish officials, announcers, marshals, water-station staff and people prepared to set up and dismantle the course – volunteers must expect to work long hours, which requires motivational and diplomatic skills,” he adds.
To be a ‘certified race’, course measurement must be verified by an appointed LTKA official, using either a measuring wheel or a calibrated cycle, who’ll mark the mile or kilometre points, says Pratley. “It’s a great draw for runners who need to know their PB will stand if they have a good run?’ Want to know how your proposed route will go down with your runners? Get a local runner to complete it, says Parsons. “We had a short loop in the village towards the end to make the course the correct distance – but our `road-tester’ hated it, so we moved it to the start instead,” he adds.
DON’T FORGET THE PRIZES
Most runners don’t want expensive goody bags (they’ll no doubt prefer to pay lower entry fees), but those who ace the course should receive some form of recognition for their efforts, says Parsons. And like any potential sponsorship, prizes can be donated. “We got the puddings for our Christmas Pudding 10K donated by a local baker – it’s just another form of advertising for local businesses,” says Berry. But as Umpleby says, make sure sponsors know what they’re getting beforehand or get ready to look for loans. “We’ve had a dozen or so sponsors, doing everything from donating course kit, to prizes to money, and they got really disgruntled when they saw their name wasn’t at the top of every flyer?’