How to Organize a successful Marathon

Planning to Organize a Marathon but clueless about how to proceed with it? We can understand. Organizing a Marathon isn’t a child’s play. Yet, it isn’t any rocket science. All you need is clarity, enough time in hand and a few mantras to organize a successful Marathon.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while organizing a Marathon.

1.The 5Ws & 1 H: The very first step for organizing a Marathon is to understand the purpose of the event. This is where the 5Ws come into being –

  • What: Will it be an ultra-Marathon, full Marathon, half Marathon, or stage Races?
  • When: this one is self-explanatory. You need to decide the time, day and Month for the Marathon.
  • Where: This one really matters! If the location in your mind is a popular one, it is important to book the location much in advance or keep a few backup dates. Not just Runners but even Running enthusiasts love a scenic track. So, select your track wisely. You also need to measure the track properly before finalising a location. Any discrepancy in the distance to be covered, can really mess it all up.
  • Why: Most Marathons have a purpose behind them. Identify whether the Marathon is a Charity Run, Run for a Cause, or solely a timed Run being organized for the Runners to challenge their endurance.
  • Who? : Well, this one has a link to the above 4Ws. For instance, if you are planning a Run for amateur Runners and have a hilly track; the sole purpose of organizing a Marathon will be lost because running on a hilly track is challenging for them. Hence, choose your target participants wisely.
  • How? : Marathon Organizing is not a one-man Army work. It must be team work. You need to decide your team well in advance as these teams need to work side by side for delivering an effective event while dividing work responsibly.

2.Budgeting it right: Any Running event needs a budget to go ahead. Thus, its important to plan your expenses and budget the event carefully. Be sure to include administrative costs such as advertising, banners for the start and finish lines, numbers for participants, refreshments, trash cans, portable bathroom facilities, and awards.

3.Sponsor/Partners: We are sure this one has been on your mind ever since you started planning the Marathon. Once you have created a tentative budget for the event, calculate the amount of money you want to be arranged through sponsorship. Sponsorship may either be in form of money or complimentary products. In case of complimentary products, you can make the Sponsoring company an event partner like beverage Partner, travel partner, Hospitality Partner, Medical Partner and more.

The form of sponsorship needs depends on your plan. Be sure to include administrative costs such as advertising, banners for the start and finish lines, numbers for participants, refreshments, trash cans, portable bathroom facilities, and awards.

4.Permissions from Authorities: This is one of the important factors which need to be taken care of, well in advance. Since, most Marathons are held in public locations; it is important to write and take permission from the Authorities especially for route, traffic diversion, placement of Branding material, security and co-operation of the police.

Once all the above are taken care, one needs to focus on:

5.Marketing the Marathon: Someone rightly said – “Marketing a wrong product right makes it success while marketing a good product badly makes it a failure.”Organizing any event without proper marketing plan is a waste of time. It is important to plan a marketing plan date wise, activity wise and area wise. You can use print media, cinema ads, radio ads ( Due to high reach ability), hoardings and other ways to promote and market the Run. Another popular method of promotion is cross promotion wherein, the partners and sponsors promote the event to their database.

6.Runner kits & Inclusions: When organizing an event, the Organizer needs to be careful about the selection here. Runner kits represent the level and standard of an event especially the Runner t-shirts. Find and confirm the t-shirt vendor in advance as this one is really time consuming. And when we say time consuming, we mean it.
For inclusions; add products which partners provide or figure out a plan to provide products which will appeal and be useful to the Runners. For instance; energy bars, low fat yoghurt, discount coupons, sponsor flyers, and energy drinks.

In addition to the above; an important tip while organizing a Marathon and for it to be a memorable event, include different activities like Zumba, dancing, warm up sessions and more at the Event. Since, Marathons are timed events; don’t forget to get in touch with a timing company which can make BIBs with timing chips for your event.

Does all this sound tedious to you and you are already having sweaty hands thinking this is too much? Worry no more, we at MeraEvents will organize it all. Simply reach us and we will do it all for you. From event planning to implementation.

Ankita Bhardwaj

A Journalism(H) graduate from KNC, Delhi University; Ankita loves to pen down her thoughts in form of blogs, Articles and quotes. She is an avid traveler who believes that "Life is Car, Steer it Properly and Safely."

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