Planning Your Event

This chapter is intended to help you, the Club Fat Ass Event Host, plan your event so that it is successful and fun your guests and for you. 

Your event is unique, but it does share a lot of similarities with other Club events. The following time lines and tasks are drawn from the experience of fellow Event Hosts and best practices in event management.  We recommend you start your event planning process by printing off this page and writing the name, date and attendance goals for your event on it.  Then work backwards to fill-in the dates so you establish rough deadlines for yourself.

Please note

Sharing your comments.  If you have any comments, criticisms or other thoughts on what is written here, please share them with your fellow Event Hosts.  To add a comment, go to the bottom of the page and click on "add new comment".

Printing this chapter. To print off a nicely formatted page for your records, go to the bottom of the page and clink on "printer-friendly version".  



(name and date of your event)


For this event to be successful to me, I aim to have:

_____  +  _____  =  _____

       Guests       Crew       Participants 

-6 Months or More

  • website
    • make sure all information on your website is correct
    • register yourself to confirm the registration form comes to your current email address
    • test your course description on a few friends to make sure it is accurate and maybe measure it again
    • confirm or determine your post race party location
  • promote
    • identify relevant online calendars, magazines, running stores and note them on the back of this page for future reference.  Notify Club Fat Ass to have them added to the Resources page of the Club website
    • Email or call administrators of appropriate online and off line race calendars, running stores, recreation centers, gyms, magazines, etc.  If appropriate, send them a store poster that can be printed out and posted at their physical location
    • when using online event calendars, we recommend you make reference to your CFA event website URL so people will first go there for information rather than calling or emailing you
    • We strongly advise against posting your phone number or email address on online calendars. This attracts spam and invades your privacy.  Sometimes you can get around giving out your phone number and email by typing 000-000-0000 and allcontactinfo@www.clubfatass.com.  Sometimes it requires an email to the webmaster.  More and more online calendars realize the invasion of privacy/potential for spam and no longer require you to post your email/phone number

-3 Months

  • Reminder for race calendars
  • Resend email notices to build awareness
  • Reminder for stores
  • Email or fax notice for event boards

-1 Month

  • Try to get local media exposure
    • Fax/email news release to local newspapers, radio and television stations
  • Reminder to appropriate newsgroups
    • send an email notice to discussion forums

Assign Tasks

If you will need help to host your event, start thinking about the specifics of what help you will need and who will actually do it. 

Float the idea of crewing with your friends.  If they are interested, refer them to the chapter on Crew/Volunteers so they might pick the tasks that best suit them.  Let them tell you what they would like to do and get a commitment from them.  Then trust that the task will get done so you can enjoy a stress-free run!

Post-event Party

If you are planning a get-together, make sure you have confirmed when, when, how long and any other details.  Make sure the details are clear on your website.

Supplies and Supporters

If you are planning any aid stations or draw prizes, make sure you have confirmed who, what, when and how with them.

-1 Day

Last Minute Checklist

Event Day

Pre Start

  • Recommend you get to the start about an hour before your published start time
  • Welcome everyone.  Get them to sign waivers and provide coordinates (including email) and check in so you know who is there
  • Collect membership fees (day of event or annual) from non CFA members; ask if you are unsure
  • Make your announcements (keep it brief!)
  • Take a start photo
  • Go!


If possible, greet finishers personally.  If not, make sure your guests check out in some way (e.g. enter their finish times on a list, call you to let you know they have abandoned, etc.)
Get finish times and distances for your results.


  • Thank everyone who made your event successful!  (guests, crew, sponsors, etc.)
  • Confirm finish times, starters and finishers
  • Ask for ideas for your event report:  Funny things that happened, particular achievements that deserve recognition, etc.


  • Complete results, including names, times, distance and points. Send to Club via email or upload yourself directly to website
  • Write first draft of your race report and post
  • upload photos or send to Club

Event Day +1


  • If not done already, post your results and race report on your website
  • Update your website with next years date
  • Distribute results to email newsgroups, media
  • Communicate your new date to online and off line race calendars
  • Follow-up on any wrap-up communications with the Club
  • Go to another Club event and let someone else worry about the planning and preparation!

Pre and Post Event Announcements

As the host, all eyes are on you for directions.  At the same time, your guests just want to get started.  We recommend very strongly that you note a few key things in writing beforehand so you don't have to think at the start or at the finisher party.  Here are some thoughts that we hope will help you.


  • Welcome!  Thank you for showing up!
  • Introduce yourself and your event.  Make some disclaimer statement. 
    • E.g.  This is an informal, non-event that I’ve loosely organized with the hope that you’ll have fun.  I promise you nothing and, as a fellow Club Fat Ass member, I don’t charge you anything so by participating you agree to not sue me if you have a heart attack doing this or the bears eat you.  I assume you’re physically prepared to do this and you’re self sufficient.  All in favor, say “aye!”
  • Confirm that everyone is registered
  • Take starter photo
  • Identify any media people, thank any sponsors
  • Confirm that everyone has directions, knows what to do in an emergency and how to check out
  • Identify any particularly tricky aspects of the course, any aid, toilets, etc.
  • Ask everyone to get their finish times to you ASAP and ask to complete the quality control survey afterward so you can improve
  • Clarify time and location of any finisher party
  • Have fun!

Finisher Party

  • Ask each person for highs and lows, interesting things that happened and note them for your race report
  • Confirm finish times
  • Make any draws or announcements
  • Thank sponsors and crew
  • Announce next date for event, next date of a Club event