How to Organize a 5K
Or other Run/Walk Event
A run/walk event, such as a 5K, can be a powerful community building event to bring people together, inspire healthy living, and promote awareness of a cause like childhood obesity. Part of your decision to organize an event like this will be based on the needs in your community and the resources available to you.
If used as a fundraiser, the event can make a significant contribution to the needs of the community when directed for a specific community program, such as feeding site, farmers market, community garden, or local food pantry. Connecting a specific health cause like childhood obesity to a local community need can greatly increase participation and unlock access to the resources of local institutions and businesses.
In addition, a run/walk event can be a way to follow Christ’s example of mingling, building relationships, showing compassion, and ministering to needs. For example, you can:
- Offer 5K coaching and practice runs for first-time runners/walkers prior to event
- Include relationship building activities, prayer before training, etc.
- Include literature in race packets
- Vibrant Life special issue, brochure about Adventists, local church/school/hospital newsletter
- Mingle! Have volunteers to chat with the runners before/after the race
- Plan an open house, ministry/health fair, kids activities or other event at same time
- Serve a free vegetarian brunch after the race
- Have door prizes
- Give participants tickets to place in containers for various prizes, such as items donated from your local Adventist Book Center or Christian book store, health food store or fitness center. You can also include certificates for services that members can donate—oil change, snow removal, resume update, tax return, haircut, etc.
- Before start of race, introduce our faith, why we’re hosting the run, have prayer, and warm-up exercises
- Intersperse signs on course highlighting facts about childhood obesity and inspirational scripture passages that utilize running metaphors
- Give God glory at the award ceremony. Introduce the pastor, who can give a short devotional thought, or invite a guest speaker
- Send a follow-up letter thanking sponsors and runners for participating and inviting them to other events or community projects
Organizing a 5K… Where do I Begin? (external site)
Organizing a 5K Race: An Insider’s Guide (5 mb file)
Runner’s World Race Director Checklist (external site)
Guidelines for Organizing 5K Walks & Runs (external site)
Sample 5K Waiver in Word or PDF format