Which is Better? Create a Course or Use a Pre-Made One?

Courses are really important in setting up your race.  You should always try and get an “exclusive” or super cool area for your race.  People have been there and done that through parks and other routes, make yours unique.

But sometimes, it’s hard to be creative enough to create your own course and a pre-made one is the way to go.  You can go to the USA Track and Field website and type in your area and (hopefully-depending on how rural your area is) a few routes will pop up.  Sometimes only a few routes are on there or they are longer/shorter than you race.  Just use that as starting point on creating your own route.

Races do not have to be certified by the USA Track and Field; some people like to race those races because they are certified to be the accurate distance.  Rates for certifying the course are anywhere from $50-150 per kilometer and courses expire after 10 years expire.

The answer to “Which is Better? Create a Course or Use a Pre-Made One?” is really up to you!  There is not right or wrong answer.

Getting the Right Permits

In most cities in towns it is crucial for you to get the correct permits for your 5K race.  Whether it be in a park, on the beach, or on a street, check with you local authorities to see what type of permit you will need.

Some towns/cities have a parks and recreation department and others you will need to go to City Hall to determine where you will get your permit.

Fees range per state.

  • Consider these types of permits:
  • Road closure permits
  • Foot traffic (on roads) permits
  • Parking permits
  • Location permits (if renting a space-especially public property)
  • Porta-potty permits

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Welcome to the How to Plan a 5K site! You will find a wealth of knowledge on this site to plan your first 5K (or any distance race you are doing). For a detailed resource on planning a 5K, go to our Ebook page.

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