How to Plan the Big Race

Posted by The Texas Loo Content Team on 15 Mar, 2023

Race organizers need to plan and perform many individual tasks before these events. It requires a structured schedule because they often need to do things in a particular sequence, since some jobs are dependent upon others. Most of the work needs to be completed well in advance of race day, such as budgeting and promotion. Obtaining permits and ordering supplies further complicates the logistics of a major, requiring a large team. The major phases of race planning include the following:

  • Setup
  • Promotion
  • Logistics
  • Recruitment


Create the race committee and select the race director at least six months before the race. You also need to choose the type of race and its distance at this time, assuming this hasn’t been predetermined. Some races also have more complex objectives than simply crossing a finish line. Establishing a budget, location and date for the event are additional issues that you must address during this period.

Apply for licenses and permits at least four months before the race. Both the local police and municipality may require these documents for organized events, especially races that take place on public property. You also need to implement a registration and ticketing solution at this time. In addition, large races like official marathons will also require insurance.


Promotional activities can begin up to six months before the race, which include finding sponsors and developing the website. Advertising can also begin during this period and continue until about two weeks before the race. Additional promotional tasks in this category include press conferences, press releases and getting the race listed on racing websites.

Begin promoting the event at physical locations like fitness centers, gyms, malls, parks and schools at least one month before the race. This can include putting up counters and stalls for big events, as well as inviting ambassadors and pacers to participate. Getting local runner groups involved is also a great way to promote a race.


The race team should begin making signage for the race site and course at least two months before the race. The design and preparation of certificates, medals and trophies should also begin during this period. Select any giveaway items like T-shirts and drinks, and hire specialized personnel such as photographers. Ensure that the appropriate organization certifies the course if necessary, typically for marathons.

Obtain all necessary licenses and permits at least two weeks before the race. Arrange on-site medical services, including facilities, personnel and ambulances. Issue final reminders about the race to organizations like police and traffic control. Secure essential facilities such as electrical power, water aid stations and restroom trailers. You may also need facilities such as changing rooms, internet access, tables and chairs.


Recruit a team at least four months before the race, which will typically consist of volunteers. They will need to map the route and measure it accurately to ensure it complies with the race’s requirements. Recruiters will be heavily involved in activities like promotion, coordinating with sponsors and offline registration.

Organize volunteers for pre-race tasks like timing, scoring and setting up aid stations at least two months before the race. They will also perform post-race jobs like handing out prizes, providing refreshments and cleaning up.


Creating a checklist and schedule for a race becomes a more important part of preparation as the number of participants increases. This is especially true for marathons, since many competitors will want to record their results with certifying organizations. In addition, ensuring adequate water and restroom facilities is more challenging for large events.


Contact The Texas Loo today to reserve luxury restroom trailers for your race!


Tags: Event Planning