How to Host a Club Run
A Club Run for your local Connect Run Club is an event where all of the running groups in your church will join together for one large running event. A Club Run is ideal for launching your run club and is a great way to market your local Connect Run Club. You can host a Club Run once a month, once a quarter or every time you begin to launch into a new series of curriculum. A Club Run is great to use as a celebration and way to get others familiar with what you do. This run gives you the ability to invite others to run with you and get a taste of what the Connect Run Club is all about, in hopes they will join your club.
Before the run:
- Schedule the Club Run a few weeks in advance to help plan around schedules. Look at the calendar and plan around other big events in the community. If there is an upcoming race (5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon) advertise your Club Run as a training run for the race. Announce the date far enough in advance so runners can make plans to attend.
- Build the excitement and anticipation of the club run using social media and e-mail templates included in the other resources. Advertise via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
- Advertise in the church bulletin and other ways your church sends information out to members.
- Use the e-mail templates to begin to get the word out to your runners and partners. Have your runners invite others. Advertising is important, but don't forget that relationships are the key to marketing, not the marketing piece itself.
For the run:
- Determine the distance you plan to have available to run and chart a course with maps for runners to use. We recommend having distances for beginners, intermediate and advanced runners. Use routes with minimal turns that are easy to follow.
- Have group leaders for each distance to be responsible for communicating specifics about their run.
- Use the Host Kit materials and signage for runners to know where you are located.
- Pick a location easy to find with plenty of space like a local park to start the run.
- Provide clear instructions of things to be aware for the run (Safety issues, road crossings, turnaround points, etc).
- Have a sign in sheet for all runners.
- Have a volunteer at the start area keep keys organized for the runners to drop off and pick up.
During the run:
- Have your group leaders at the Club Run to build relationship and engage those whoa re visiting and might be interested in joining the club.
- Train your club members on how to engage the runners who are visiting during the Club Run.
- Encourage all runners to run at their own pace.
- Have your group leader wear the group leader hat or shirt to make sure they are visible.
After the run:
- Have water at the finish of the run.
- Make sure all the runners finish and are accounted for.
- Continue to engage visiting runners during the run and after the run inviting them with our resource template to join the club.
- Follow up via e-mail template with invites to join the club.
Second mile service:
- Have Chick-fil-A biscuits or other refreshments at the finish. Make sure to have water and/or sports drinks, bananas, and granola bars. If you have Chick-fil-A or another restaurant serve something, make sure to include this while advertising your run.
- Set up water stops along popular routes or trails on busy running days advertising your Club Run.
- Partner with a local running store to set up a tent at your Club Run and ask them to help you get the word out. Use the poster template included.
- Include door prizes or giveaways to get runners involved.
- Purchase and use Connect Run Club gear as giveaways.
- Set up a water stop along the course.
- Set up mile markers, directional and turnaround signs along the course.
- Have a sound system or speaker set up for music and announcements at the start of the run.