Tips for Putting on a Race

Below are some things you should think about when planning a race:

  1. Location – Where do you plan to hold your race? You will need to contact the City of Bloomington or Town of Normal if you intend to have your race held on city streets. You’ll also need to get in touch with the Police Department(s).
  2. Insurance – You will need liability insurance to cover you and your participants, which can be obtained through the Road Runners Clubs of America (
  3. Date and Time – Are you thinking a morning or afternoon race? On a Saturday or Sunday?
    • Chances are good that your race will conflict with another race in the area. The racing calendar is pretty full April through the October so check the LRC Area Race Calendar before choosing your date.
  4. Volunteers – You will need volunteers to help with many things including registration, handing out bibs and shirts, helping set up water and food, acting as split timers at each mile. The Tipton route is an out and back, so you would need only 2 split timers – at mile 1 and mile 2.
  5. Bibs – Free race bibs may be obtained from Road ID or Runner’s World. The LRC also has bibs for a cost of $0.25 each. We recommend using one of the three sources listed for bibs; bad bibs make for a bad finish line.
  6. Refreshments – Runners will expect to have food and water at the end of the race. Local stores may discount food to you, or you may be able to find a restaurant to sponsor your refreshments in return for advertising on your race shirts.
  7. Shirts – Race shirts are usually a given at a race. You can buy a nice cotton shirt with imprints for around $6-10 each; however, imprinting both front and back of a shirt might cost more. A few recommended local vendors include Minerva and Read’s Sporting Goods.
  8. Awards – You’ll need awards for runners. Typical age groups range from 19 and under up to 55 or 60 in 5 year increments. Ex: 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39 and so forth for both men and women. This can amount to 60 or 70 awards. Medals make nice awards and can save you a lot of money, especially if you engrave them with “Award Winner” instead of individual places within age groups. You can also use leftover awards year to year if you don’t individualize them. Several of our races use Trophies Plus II in El Paso (contact David Duncan at (309) 275-5374).
  9. Finish Line Services
    • The LRC can provide finish line services for a fee and if the date is available.
      • If you choose to have the LRC provide finish line services, we’d be very interested in reviewing your race application before you publish it to make sure you have all the necessary information on the application, including a waiver of liability each runner must sign.
      • For more information, visit LRC Services and Fees
    • The LRC recommends It’s Race Time for chip timing services.
      • It’s Race Time has agreed that for any local running event, race directors can use their electronic registration and not be required to use his finish line service. This is a free service, but there is the regular service charge of $2 for online registration.