Plan your own racing event

Running an official race is fun, but so is planning your own event. Be it a 5k, a 10k or a half-marathon, here’s how to plan an awesome race.

two people running

There is something magical about big racing events, from energetic crowds to goodie bags and funny signs along the way. How can you make your own personal event just as memorable?

Reasons to plan your own event

Maybe the race you were planning to run was cancelled, or you think the fees are excessive. You could have other commitments on Sundays mornings (which takes you out of the running for most races). There are plenty of reasons to organize your own event! Whether you’re racing on your own, with friends or even with kids, learn how to make it fun, affordable, and safe for everyone.

zoom of running shoes on the road

Plan your own racing event in 9 steps:

1. Spend time planning the course

Your first instinct might be to map out one giant loop. After all, that’s how most races are set up. But remember—big running events also have water stations, medical tents and bathrooms along the way. Break down your route into mini loops to recreate these conditions. With each loop ending at your house, you’ll never be far from a bathroom, a place to rest, and extra food and drinks. Each loop can go in a different direction to keep it interesting! Try making a flower shape.

2. Practice each loop before race day

Practice each loop several times while you’re training, so you don’t have to check your phone for directions on race day. You should be able to run the course on autopilot!

3. Make your own goodie bag

Pre-race kits usually include protein bars, electrolyte tablets, and a running magazine. Everyone loves a goodie bag, so why not make your own? Buy your favourite snacks ahead of time, get yourself a massage ball, and put it all in a reusable bag for race day. As far as magazines go, you can read these articles on innovative running shoes and slow running instead. Tada!

4. Wake up early

This is your event, so you set the time. But we recommend heading out as early as possible to enjoy uncrowded sidewalks and cooler temperatures in summer.

people at their racing event

5. Carry water with you

Remember: you should never wait to be thirsty to drink. Depending on how long you plan to run, make sure to wear a hydration vest or a running belt with one or several bottles. 

6. Time yourself, if you’d like

Use a running watch, an app on your phone, or even just a piece of paper to write down your start and finish times. Alternatively, you don’t have to time yourself at all. Completing a race in any amount of time is an achievement! 

7. Make your own signs

Got some craft supplies at home? Make “Start” and “Finish” signs to hang on your doorstep. If you have friends or family living in your neighbourhood, you can ask them to make signs for you and put them up in their windows. It may not make you run any faster, but it’ll cheer you up and make you smile as you go.

8. Let others track your progress

Did you know many apps let you share your location while running? Your loved ones will love being able to check up on you virtually along the way. It’s an extra safety precaution for you, too!

9. Congratulate yourself with a (chocolate) medal

Gourmet tip: use chocolate coins, tape, and a ribbon to make your own gold medal. It looks close enough to the real thing, and you can snack on it after the race to get your energy back up.

What you need to run

Find all the gear to win the race!

woman running on the road

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