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April 4, 2020

Race Director's Checklist

Race Director's Checklist

Note:This is a list put together by a new race director.You will want to make adjustments for your own needs.

So in an attempt to both share my progress on how my 5K organizing is going and to help other race directors out there, here is my 5K checklist. Note that I actually created lists for "team leads" - committee members doing much of the legwork. I have broken down their lists into pre race, race day, and post race tasks

Race Director

*Pre Race

Choose start / finish location

Select race route

Obtain municipal permits

Obtain state permits

Obtain USATF sanction

Obtain certificates of insurance

Prepare briefings for volunteers

Plan mandatory volunteer meeting

Distribute t-shirts and official identification

*Race Day




*Post Race

Write thank you notes to sponsors, volunteers, contributors, municipalities, facility owners, etc.

Post-race evaluation meeting with organizing committee

Plan volunteer / officials party

Reconcile budget

Pay outstanding bills

Design Team Lead

*Pre Race

Design media / sponsor info kit

Design registration form

Design course mile marker signs and race site

Design t-shirts

Design race day info sheet

Medical / weather information

Timing / starting lineup information

Course map with mile markers and aid stations

Clothing / check in / changing facilities / showers

Results posting

Registration Team Lead

*Pre Race

File entry forms in alphabetical order

Deposit entry fees

Arrange packet pick up

Assemble packets

Plan race day registration table

*Race Day

Set up pre-registered runners table

List of pre-registered runners

Number pick up / pins

T-shirt / packet pick up

Set up race-day-registering runners table

Entry forms / pens / pencils / office supplies

Race numbers / pins

Cash box / change

Set up questions / trouble table

*Post Race

Post-race mailing to participants

Publicity / Promotions Team Lead

*Pre Race

Set up race web site

Connect with local running organizations for event listing and advertising

Distribute race registration forms to running clubs, gyms, sports-related stores, etc.

Work with as many local vendors as possible

Order t-shirts

Book race photographer

Provide a shot list

*Race Day

Brief race photographer

Set up press area

tables / chairs / signage

electrical outlets

race information printed off

*Post Race

Distribute race stories/photos to press

Press release with results

Sponsors & Donations Team Lead

Note: For our race I have both a Sponsors Team Lead and a Donations Team Lead. The Sponsors TL is getting the big dollar sponsors that will cover our costs for the race, and the Donations TL is getting smaller donations for things like awards and door prizes.

*Pre Race

Draft sponsor / donation letters

Draft sponsor levels document with incentives (e.g. $500, $250, $100, etc.)

Obtain artwork (sponsor logos) for t-shirts

*Post Race

Write thank you notes to sponsors

Timing & Scoring Team Lead

*Pre Race

Obtain quotes for timing services, work with race director to sign contract

Measure and certify course

Mark mile markers on course

Order signage for course (mile markers) and race site

Prepare signage for course

Obtain race numbers and safety pins

Prepare course map with mile markers for race packets

*Race Day

Place mile markers and directional arrows

Brief start / finish officials

Brief official starter

Set up starting area

Pace / seeding signs

Finish line tape

Chute materials

Digital clock

Chronomix times

Computer system

Recording sheets, clipboards, pencils, other office supplies

Tables / chairs

Electric power hook up

Medical Team Lead

*Pre Race

Draft medical plan for race day

Notify hospitals / arrange ambulatory services for location

*Race Day

Set up medical area (this list is probably a bit much for our small 5K, but you get the idea)

isolated, covered area near finish line

supervising MD and qualified nurses and EMTs


ice, IVs, hot and cold fluids, cots, blankets

immediate triage capability

Aid Stations Team Lead

*Pre Race

Recruit volunteers to man aid stations

Determine locations and number of aid stations needed

Calculate how many supplies are needed based on the number of participants

*Race Day

Set up aid stations

water / sports drink


pitchers / coolers


barrels / trash bags

rakes (for clean up)

Oversee aid station(s) volunteers

Oversee aid station(s) clean up

Course Security / Marshals / Communications Team Lead

*Pre Race

Draft a course security plan for race day

Arrange police liaison

Notify fire department

Obtain press / course vehicles

*Race Day

Brief police

Brief course officials, marshals

Brief press / course vehicle drivers

Brief trailsweep vehicle driver

Set up communication equipment

Results Posting & Distribution Team Lead

*Race Day

Results area functioning

isolated area close to finish line


electric power hookup

laptop and printer

copying machine


preprinted awards/results sheets

Awards Team Lead

*Pre Race

Order awards

Work with Donations TL to obtain prizes

Arrange an MC

Race Day

Set up awards area

tables / chairs


PA system

awards display area with awards arranged in order of distribution

results posting board / area

Refreshments Team Lead

*Pre Race

Connect with local organization or restaurant to provide breakfast

Check for what they need: electricity, tents, utensils, etc.

Organize volunteers to serve and clean up breakfast

*Race Day

Set up refreshments area




knives, forks, spoons (depends on foods available), napkins

trash barrels/bags

Set up coffee / refreshments in volunteers / officials area

Volunteer / Set Up Team Lead

*Pre Race

Recruit volunteers for all teams

*Race Day

Set up volunteer / official area

tables / chairs / signage

T-shirt / official identifications

Set up start / finish banners

Set up PA system

*Post Race

Cleanup accomplished (course, start and finish area, locker rooms, etc.)

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