Hey yall!

We hope you are as excited about fall as we are! The cooler weather is calling our name here in Texas….

Speaking of cooler weather…has your school ever hosted a fun run?  They have become so popular and they can be a lot of fun if they are planned well in advanced. The key to running a fun run is organization and planning….so have a plan B and plan C too!

1. Calling all volunteers!

First things first….you gotta have some pretty great volunteers  to make it happen! As

2. Location is sooo important

Several important factors need to be considered when it comes time to select the venue for your event. At this point, it is essential to enlist the help of community officials. Not only can your city provide you with the necessary permits for your event, it can also commit security and crowd control resources to your project. It is also important that you plan for sufficient parking space for spectators, volunteers, and runners at the start/finish line. Schools have it made here – as school fun runs are usually held on the school grounds. Often a local high school makes the ideal location to launch your runners for non-profit organizations too, as well as a built-in volunteer base. You will of course need special permission from the School District for this.

3. Consider the Event Timing

The outcome of your fun run fundraiser will depend in large part upon the publicity and public awareness you are able to generate. Be sure to give your team enough time to promote the event – most successful events start planning six months in advance.

Once the date and location for your fun run fundraiser have been established, you must assign planning team members to oversee the following key facets of the event.

4. Recruit Fun Run Volunteers

As you probably already know, your volunteers are critical. Be sure to utilize people that don’t have as much time to give too… tap them for less critical jobs like directing traffic and parking, collecting entry forms and donations day of the event, or just stuffing and handing out goodie bags.

Here are two key volunteer positions to fill for race day:

  • Volunteer Coordinator – As you organize a fun run, make one person on your planning committee responsible for managing volunteers on race day. This position is critical -so choose someone who can handle the pressure. As volunteers arrive, the coordinator makes assignments and gives instructions to those who will help with:
    • Participant Check-in
    • Safety and First Aid
    • Lap counters or timers
    • Food and water for your runners
  • Equipment Manager – Somebody must be responsible to locate, pick up, and ultimately return things like stop watches and timing equipment. (Check with the football or track coach at a local high school for these. You might also be able to borrow bibs from this valuable source.) You will likely need a public address system, tables, chairs, and myriad other things that can be found at churches, schools, community centers or for rent at event planning organizations. This same committee member may be the one to arrange for commercial portable toilets. When it comes to obtaining the equipment and other necessary resources, don’t forget to ask first that they be donated or discounted in return for mention on your printed materials. Sometimes you have to pay, but it never hurts to ask for in-kind donations first.

5. Seek Fun Run Event Sponsors

Many local business owners will be happy to participate in your fun run. Done well, your title and other large sponsors can assist in covering a large portion of the event costs. Smaller sponsors can offer merchandise and/or gift certificates for door prizes or raffles. It is critical that you keep careful track of even the small donations so that you can thank each sponsor when the event is over. Also, sponsors should be acknowledged in your event website as well as on printed materials such as flyers and posters, and if possible, on bibs, banners, and t-shirts.

After the dust settles, there is still work to do!

6. Fun Run Clean Up

This is the most often forgotten step, which accounts for the fact that the Committee Chairman and his or her family frequently end up holding this particular bag. Don’t imagine the clean-up will take care of itself. Always, always, always – as you organize a fun run – assign a committee to clean up after the event and be there to help:

  • Clean up along the course and at start/finish line
  • Return equipment
  • Accounting Duties – If you’re very smart or very lucky you’ll have good event planning software for your event that will keep these books for you. If not, tap a bean-counter-type who can sort the numbers accurately

7. Send Thank-Yous

A simple card or e-mail acknowledging the efforts of your volunteers, sponsors, and participants is your best insurance for a continuing supply of help and participation in future events. A sincere thank-you is never wasted.

8. Evaluate the Success of the Fun Run

Be sure to evaluate your fun run about a week after the event. You don’t want too much time to go by and start forgetting the things that stood out to you. Each year will get smoother and more successful for your school and students. Write down your recommendations for future events and put the notes into the file for next year’s planning committee.

 

We would love to hear from you and hear you fun run experience! Email us: info@penguinpatch.com

Melanie