Project Idea: 5K/Fun Run

People running a race

On your mark, get set, go! Raise money for Pure Water, Pure Love by hosting a 5k/fun run! Get your entire church and community involved in this ministry by recruiting volunteers, sponsors, and runners!

Although orchestrating a run may seem like a lot of work, it can be an effective and fun way to raise money for PWPL. Don’t try to do it on your own. Get a group of church members together who are passionate for the cause and delegate assignments. With the body of Christ and the grace of God, your race will bring clean water to the nations.

Here’s what your church can do:

Pray for the event. More than anything, you will need God’s strength and guidance in planning a race.

Plan your race.

  • Decide the length of the course—1 mile, 5k, or 10k. Plan out your route and measure the distance. Try to be as precise as possible, and make note of where mile marker signs will be located.
  • Decide whether you want the course officially certified by racing organizations. Having a certified course will attract more serious runners, but it will require an extra initial cost. Officials will need to measure your course and set up official timers.
  • Decide on the awards. Have awards for runners by gender and age group. Consider having an award for the person who raised the most money as well.
  • Set up water stations. For a shorter race, one to two water stations spaced along the course is sufficient. If you are doing a 10k, consider having more water stations.

Alert the local police force. If your route coincides with heavy traffic areas, contact the police to ask if the roads need to be blocked off the day of the race and if it would be willing to help with the traffic.

  • Be courteous of homeowners and businesses along your route, and consider changing the route if it is too much of an inconvenience to them.
  • If police are not needed the day of the race, make sure you have plenty of signs and barricades to keep your runners on course and safe. Ask volunteers to direct the runners and vehicle traffic.
  • Also have a golf cart or small truck that is available in case anyone needs to be taken to the finish line.
  • Have cell phones or walkie-talkies available to keep good communication the day of the event.

Promote your event. Make sure you do this well in advance. The more you promote your event, the more donations you will be able to receive.

  • First, get the word out among your church members. Put it in the church bulletin, on its Web site, and in its newsletter.
  • Let your local association know so that they can publicize it to other local churches.
  • Think about how to involve people and businesses outside your church. Put up flyers around your community. Locate track shops and gyms and ask if they can promote your event.
  • We live in an age of social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to let people know about your event.
  • Click here for a sample registration form.

Design and order T-shirts. See if anyone in your church owns a T-shirt company. If not, online companies tend to be the cheapest. Make the entry fee at least double the cost of the T-shirts so that the cost of leftover T-shirts is covered. Sell any extra T-shirts at the event.

Ask local businesses to sponsor the event. The more sponsors you have to cover the actual cost of the event, the more money will go to PWPL. After the event, make sure you thank your sponsors.

Obtain prizes and giveaways. Many track shops will donate racing bibs, bags, cups, and other gear for races. Have local businesses donate items or money to give out before and after the race. Also ask church members to donate items like desserts or manual labor. Draw names during the award ceremony.

Have food at the finish line. To keep the runners healthy, make sure you have fruit, muffins, drinks, and other food items available to them when they finish the race.

Organize timing for the event. Have several volunteers in charge of timing. Split them into two groups: one in charge of the finish time and the other in charge of bib number.

  • The finish time team will record the times of the runners as they finish. Give one person a clipboard with a numbered piece of paper. Have two people with handheld stopwatches. As each participant crosses the finish line, one timer will call out the time (the second timer is just a backup). The person with the clipboard will then write the time in order that the people finish. An example of this list might look like this:
    • 1. 14:31
    • 2. 14:33
    • 3. 14:45
    • 4. 15:01
  • The bib number team will do the same thing but record the bib numbers of the participants as they finish. An example of this list might look like this:
    • 1. 23
    • 2. 142
    • 3. 135
    • 4. 68
  • Match these two lists to select the winners of the race in each gender and age category. 

Remember your purpose. Don’t get frustrated when the little details don’t go as planned. The purpose of your event is not just to race but also to bring glory to God and clean water to missionaries and the impoverished people they are serving. 

Inspiration from Chris Sloan, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Warrior, Alabama

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