San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 12th, 2009
Runs for funds easier said than done

Run with Moe: A Column
By MOE JOHNSON
Running Columnist

The San Marcos Runners Club is holding its first meeting of the year on Jan. 13 ( 7 p.m.) at the San Marcos Activity Center.

This meeting, which is open to the public, will cover two main topics.

The first is the election of officers for the next year. The second is to find a speaker who will be of interest to walkers, joggers and runners.
Runners are often people who like to do things their own way and do not necessarily join in group runs. The San Marcos Runners Club understands this. While participation in the club’s various projects is not required, the club does offer a run for anyone wanting a partner on Tuesday evenings at the Hays County Courthouse on the square.

Runners of every ability level meet at 6:30 p.m. or so, and everyone goes for a nice run. Many runners in the group go for something to eat after the run and like to discuss running topics.

If a beginner is looking for advice on running or training tips, someone in the group is usually willing to help.
The purpose for the club is to sponsor support for runners and organizations in San Marcos and the nearby towns.

The San Marcos Runners Club helped with the organization of a dozen or so runs last year, as a number of organizations in San Marcos like to use a run to raise some money for their projects, such as scholarships, aid for the needy, etc.

The problem with using a run to raise money is that it is not as easy as saying the group will put on a run this Saturday and make some money for the group. Due to the many small details involved, an organized run takes about three months or more of planning, or it probably won’t work.

One of the major hurdles is finding someone to pay for the run, so that’s one of the first items to cover. Someone has to buy the T-shirts, the awards for the winners, advertising, food for the runners, traffic control, and possibly insurance against injury.

Then the group has to pick a date for the run to make sure it is not competing against a “big” run that will take most of the runners in the area. Then, decisions are to be made about where the race be held and how long the race will be. Do you want a 5K, a 10K, a 15K, a half marathon, or a combination of those, along with a 1K children’s event?
As to T-shirts, you need to decide how many will you need, what sizes, who will do the printing at the best price, what type of shirt do you want (cotton, 50-50, or hi-tech material), what color, what will be the logo for the race and what to name the race.

The same types of decisions need to be made for the awards. Will you have 10-year age groups or five-year age groups? What age groups will be awarded? Those awards, plus the overall champion and master’s overall champion trophies, all add up to the cost of putting on a race.

Where will you get the necessary equipment to put on a race such as a clock for timing the runners, finish cards, bib numbers, a finish chute, direction signs, tables for registration and aid stations, cups for drinking, and tables for refreshments, to name a few items on the list of equipment?
Depending on the location of the race, the key to having it all come together is finding volunteers to help on the day of the run. This usually means finding about 25 people willing to get up about 5:00 a.m. to help you out some early morning.

Some volunteer jobs require very little knowledge of running, but quite a few jobs require that a person knows what goes into making a run a success. If the organization does not have these people, then someone needs to train them.

One of the main functions of the San Marcos Runners Club is to help guide an organization through the maze of putting on a successful race. If you would like to help out with a race now and then instead of always running in a local race, the San Marcos Runners Club will welcome new members and let you see what goes on behind the scenes of putting on a run.

If your organization is thinking of holding a fundraising run in San Marcos, it would be worth your time to check out what the club can offer to your group. It is more complicated than it looks to the average runner who shows up on race morning expecting the event to be well organized.

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