Balancing “Race Bling” With Not Breaking The Bank

Race bling is what you get in your goodie bag for signing up for the race.  Race bling can be t-shirts, socks, hats, coupons, free logo’d stuff like pens from sponsors, finishers medals, etc.    You must be budget conscience to keep costs low, but still give your participants the value for what they paid for.  T-shirts are almost always required at races, so be sure to include those in your budget calculations.  You can always negotiate the prices for most of your items that you are given away.

A lot of times your race sponsors will want to put items in your goodie bags as part of their sponsorship.  They can add pens or another item that has their logo on it or even a coupon to their establishment.

Remember that every item that you purchase comes directly from the profits of the race.  Yes, the item is ‘just $1’ but if you have 200 participants, that’s $200 you can give to your organization.  What could the organization do with that money?  For your first few years, a t-shirt will work fine for your race bling, in addition to anything else you can get donated.

What is the average number of first year participants?

An average first year race will depend on several factors: the time of year, the theme, the weather, marketing, geographical area and more.


If you are a small organization, perhaps shoot for a goal of 200.  If you are a larger organization whit a ton of contacts, perhaps 500-1,000.


Our organization is on the smaller side and we had about 135-150 each year attend, but our goal was always 200.

Distance-Is it 5 miles or 5K?

I was signing up for a 5K once and the race website said it was a 5 mile course but it was being marketed as a 5K.  I called the number on the form and the race director had no idea there was a difference….Don’t be that race director!

A 5K is 3.1 miles and a 5 mile race is, well, 5 miles.  That is a 1.9 mile difference with a couple more water stops and a lot more directional signs! #metricsystem

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