How to Organize a Marathon: 7 Steps Concise Guide

As the organizer of the University Marathon Club, we regularly hold a marathon race every year and call on all students and faculty to join the running movement. The preparation process for the marathon is tedious, so I have summarized through experience 7 concise but vital steps for your reference. From the early promotional work to the crucial race medals customization, all are mentioned in this article.


Start marketing quickly

In the pre-race preparation phase, you can post the event banners and posters on campus or even on the street. I recommend advertising it on your school’s official website or local organizations about a month before the race, or you can distribute flyers, hang posters, etc.


Besides that, you can make some small low-cost stickers with the icon of this marathon event. Good publicity and marketing are crucial for the race event.


Date and Location

In order to make the marathon run smoothly, you need to look at the date in advance, choose a good sunny and comfortable weather, and avoid major holidays so that you can’t travel.


A good running range is also important. Generally, I will gather participants on campus and start from the campus, choosing a route along the way that everyone is familiar with, with a route that is as gentle as possible and suitable for setting up a booth. This way everyone will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery while running and also be able to resupply regularly.


It is important to remember that you also need to contact the relevant local team in charge and the police or fire department in advance to ensure the safe use of the venue and the safety of onlookers.


Develop Budgets and Fundraisers

After you have arranged for all types of information, you need to determine how your event will be funded and how much it will cost. Be sure to include administrative costs such as advertising, start and finish line banners, refreshments, t-shirts and various types of souvenirs and medals. After doing a thorough accounting and budgeting, we then proceed with fundraising. Most companies are happy to come and sponsor our event and it’s a great promotional opportunity for them.


Order Medals and Swags

At our last marathon, We ordered medals and various promotional items from GS-JJ. Their medals can be customized with your own design and these products are great. There is a wide variety of medals available, including 5K medals, 10K medals, race medals, marathon medals, championship commemorative race medals, and more. For athletes participating in marathons, a beautiful medal is the best reward and souvenir. Regardless of your finish, you will receive an excellent medal. There are also various pins and ribbons for volunteers who come to participate in the event, which are essential swag for the marathon.


Recruit Volunteers

We will need a lot of help on race day to run smoothly, so I will be looking for volunteers on campus in advance. We also have a souvenir gift bag for volunteers with a uniform marathon logo T-shirt and a pin with the marathon logo. A good gift will also attract more students to volunteer.


To ensure safety, we equipped volunteers with custom lanyards and ID tags for the event so that athletes and spectators could get help quickly.

Final Confirmation

On the day of the competition, arrive at the race site early to make sure every department is working and volunteers and supplies are in place along the route. Reconfirm safety and route clearance. If you have enough time, you can briefly rehearse the entrance and assembly of athletes to ensure the race runs smoothly.


Prepare a job list for the different volunteers so they know what they are expected to do. Check in one last time with police and other security personnel. Distribute pre-race notes to make sure participants understand the information.

Clean up the Race Course

Finally, we organize volunteers to clean up the event site and make sure it is restored to its original state. After the race, when we distribute the medals awarded to the participants, we should not forget the other staff members and we should thank all the departments that have helped us. We can write a thank you letter to the sponsors and volunteers on the website where we posted the promotion information before, or we can thank those enthusiastic staff with a small customized gift.


We hope this guide will help you and wish you organizing a perfect marathon.

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