Don't Be a Copycat

For veteran race directors and race directors to be, planning a new event can be a daunting task. Where should you start, what are the best practices, and how do you make your race sustainable for years to come? Welcome back to another edition of A Race Director’s Guide: Taking Strides Towards Your Best Race where we give you helpful tips and tricks that you may find useful as you plan your next big race!

The running industry is a forever growing business, there are hundred even thousands of new races being planned and implemented every year. So, it is safe to say that runners have a plethora of choices when it comes to picking which race they will be participating in next. The last thing you want is to become just another race amongst all the others, you want people to see your race and be excited to run in it. With that said, if you are planning a new event, standing out in the sea of others is crucial. Don’t get me wrong, if you have ever been to a race that was truly memorable for you and one that even you would sign up for again, it is never a bad idea to draw inspiration from others’ success and ideas. However, if you were to just try to recreate that race for yourself, odds are you may not be fully satisfied with the result in comparison. A great piece of advice is to take a look at the race market, look for what is popular and what interests the most people, then make it your own! Try adding some fun gimmicks and themes to your event that make it unique to you and your race. While a generic 5K is sure to attract runners from the surrounding area, the thing that will have athletes travelling far and wide is fun event that provides a memorable experience for everyone involved! Be as creative as you like, but do your research first!

Here are some great examples of races with that extra “flare” that keeps runners coming back year after year:

Circle City Donut Dash

Brat Trot and Beer Challenge 5K

Surviving the Color Run

While all of these races may seem like simple 5K events on the surface, each one offers a great deal of fun and an all-around unique experience for their athletes that makes them stand out over the rest. You don’t have to use donuts, beer, or the ever-popular color run format for your event but try thinking of new and exciting ideas that will peak runners’ interest and make them want to see what your race is all about!

This is just the first tip of many that we have for aspiring and avid race directors alike! Join us next time for tips on how to gain partners and sponsor support for your next event! We have some valuable resources and tricks of the trade that may help you in your journey to planning the best race possible!

As always, if you have any ideas or suggestions for topics you would like us to cover in one of our posts, feel free to let us know at! Thank you for reading, and happy running!